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J Balvin clip removed amid backlash against “racist” images

Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvín’s controversial music video for his song “Perra” has been pulled from YouTube after it was criticized for its “racist” and “misogynistic” portrayal of black women.

“Perra,” which translates to “dog” in English but is commonly used as a derogatory term for women in Spanish, is a suggestive song about two people who desire each other: “I’m like a dog in heat … I’m looking for a dog to hit him.”

The music video for “Perra,” featuring Dominican rapper Tokishca, depicts her and other people of color as animals, with Balvín being seen walking two black women on a leash at one point. Tokishca is also seen in a doghouse on all fours, where she is fed fried chicken and grains in a dog bowl.

Balvín’s music video, directed by Raymi Paulus, was originally posted on the streaming platform on September 10, but the video was taken down on Sunday, according to Billboard and The Los Angeles Times.

Although an audio-only version remains on Balvín’s YouTube channel, visuals for the “Perra” video are still circulating on social media and generating negative reactions.

USA TODAY has contacted YouTube and the distributor of Tokishca Equity Distribution for comment. Representatives for Balvín declined to comment.

Paulus, who is also Tokischa’s manager, has since deleted his personal Instagram page.

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In a joint letter, Colombian Vice-President Marta Lucía Ramírez and Presidential Advisor for Women’s Equality Gheidy Gallo Santos called Balvín’s video “sexist, racist, macho and misogynist”.

“The artist uses images of women and people (of) Afro descendants … which are presented with dog ears,” they wrote in the open letter, published on October 10. “While walking, the singer carries two women of African descent tied with chains around the neck and crawling on the ground like animals or slaves.”

The letter continued, “As if that weren’t enough, the lyrics of the song… violate the rights of women by comparing them to an animal that is to be dominated and abused.”

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People on social media agreed.

User @justinocastorCO tweeted, “@JBALVIN is so misogynistic and racist using all of his power to treat the black women in the video like animals!”

Twitter user @AyakTracks added, “Not J Balvin who walks black women on a leash! … This racist and disrespectful misogynist must stop!”

Journalist Núria Net describe the video as “totally despicable and racist”, adding that “removing it from YouTube without making any kind of statement or mea culpa is very cowardly and does not solve anything”.

Net also wrote on Twitter that to her “Perra” doesn’t sound “macho” at all, adding “it’s one of the few songs from the movement in which a man and a woman sing their desire, bellaqueo, etc (and the song was written primarily by Tokischa). ”

It is not known if the video was deleted by YouTube or Balvín.

According to guidelines from the YouTube community, the streaming platform says it aims to “remove content that violates our policies as quickly as possible, using a combination of people and machine learning to detect potentially problematic content. in large scale”.