Singer J Balvin apologized on Sunday after being criticized for the controversial music video for his song “Perra”, which showed him tugging two black women on a leash.
The video for “Perra,” which features Dominican rapper Tokischa and was directed by Raymi Paulus, was pulled from YouTube on October 17, Billboard reported. In addition to footage of Balvin walking two black women on a leash, Tokischa was also seen posing inside a doghouse on all fours.
In a series of Instagram stories, Balvin, whose full name is José Alvaro Osorio Balvin, said, “I want to apologize to those who felt offended, especially to the black women’s community.”
The Colombian star continued, “It’s not who I am. I have always expressed tolerance, love and inclusion. I also love supporting new artists, in this case Tokischa, a woman who supports its people, its community and which also empowers women. “
Balvin said he deleted the video “in the form of respect” and apologized because of the criticism.
Balvin, Tokischa and Paulus did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
Tokischa told Rolling Stone in an interview released Sunday that the video was “conceptual” and aimed to emphasize the pun in the track.
“If you, as a creative, have a song about dogs, you’re going to create this world,” she said. “I understand the interpretation people got and I’m so sorry people felt offended. But at the same time, art is expression, it creates a world.
Paulus told Rolling Stone that the video “was never intended to promote racism or misogyny.”
He added, “The Dominican Republic is a country where the majority of the population is black and our darkness is predominant in the underground scenes, where the filming took place, and which was the inspiration for the video. “Perra” was a video shot in the neighborhood, with people from the neighborhood, and the use of people of color in “Perra” was nothing more than the participation of our people in it. “
Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez said the visuals for the video were “sexist, racist, macho and misogynist” in an open letter published on October 11.
“Perra” premiered on September 10 and was featured on Balvin’s “José” album, earning him fourth place on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.
CORRECTION (October 26, 2021, 10 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated when J Balvin’s video was removed from YouTube. It was withdrawn on October 17, not Sunday. The article also misspelled an artist’s name in the video. She is Tokischa, not Tokishca.