Colombian singer and rapper J Balvin recently issued an apology for depicting Black women as dogs on leashes in his music video for “Perra.”
According to Billboard, the video, which was a collaboration with Tokischa and directed by Raymi Paulus, showed the “Mi Gente” vocalist entering the underworld, where he joined the Dominican newcomer. In the visual, Balvin was tugging at two Black women on leashes who were made to look like dogs. The image sparked backlash from several people, including Balvin’s mother, who recently spoke out against the music video during an interview with Cosmovisión, a Colombian news station.
“When I found out [about “Perra”], I called him [and asked], “Where is the Josésito that I know?” the reggaetón star’s mother said. “That song is not … I don’t even know what to say. I did not see my José anywhere.”
The video was also criticized by Marta Lucía Ramírez, Colombia’s vice president and chancellor. She said the visuals were “sexist, racist and misogynistic” in an open letter that was published earlier this month.
After removing the video from YouTube last weekend, Balvin issued an apology for the controversial visuals. “I want to say sorry to whomever felt offended, especially to the Black community,” the “In Da Getto” singer said in a video posted to his Instagram Stories. “That’s not who I am. I’m about tolerance, love and inclusivity. I also like to support new artists, in this case, Tokischa, a woman who supports her people, her community and also empowers women.”
“As a form of respect, I removed the video eight days ago,” Balvin continued. “But because the criticism continued, I’m here making a statement.”
“Mom, I’m sorry too. Life gets better each day. Thank you for listening to me,” he added.
Check out J Balvin’s apology video below.