J Balvin Apologizes After Backlash Over Portrayal of Black Women in 'Perra' Music Video

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J Balvin has apologized for his music video for "Perra," in collaboration with Dominican rapper Tokischa. The controversial video, which was released on Sept. 7, has received backlash due to its imagery.

The lyrics of the song include, "I am a female dog in heat/ I'm looking for a dog to hit it/ Hey, you're a hot dog in heat/ And you are looking for a dog to hit it." In the music video directed by Raymi Paulus, the 36-year-old Colombian singer is at one point shown walking two Black women on leashes, who are made up to look like dogs. Tokischa is also in a dog house in the video and eats from a bowl. 

In an Instagram Story he posted on Sunday, Balvin said he was sorry, specifically to the Black community.

"That's not who I am," he said in part. "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."

Balvin said it was his choice to take down the music video from YouTube.

"As a form of respect, I removed the video eight days ago," he said. "But because the criticism continued, I'm here making a statement."

"Mom, I'm sorry too," he added. "Life gets better each day. Thank you for listening to me."

One of the music video's critics included Colombia's vice president, Marta Lucía Ramírez. In an open letter published on Oct. 11, she called the video "sexist, racist, machista, and misogynistic."

In an interview with Rolling Stone, 25-year-old Tokischa said she was sorry that people were offended by the music video, but at the same time defended it.

"Art is expression," she said. "It's creating a world."

Meanwhile, Paulus told Rolling Stone in a statement, "I understand that there will never be a unanimous opinion about what constitutes art, but, for me, art not only communicates beauty and positivity – it also communicates the shortcomings of society, taboo subjects, and other ways of seeing reality that do not always align with the pop vision that dominates the current market."

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