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Lessons from the No Doubt Video Scandal?

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt via Interscope RecordsYou may have heard that late-90’s “ska” kings No Doubt recently jumped on the comeback train. You may have also heard that the band immediately ran into controversy over the video for their single “Looking Hot.”

For some reason, the video’s director thought it would be a great idea to dress the band members in stereotypical Western/Native American gear: feathered headdresses, leather leggings, teepees, cute cowboy outfits…you get it.

We like to play dress-up as much as the next guy (which is to say not at all), but we’re a little surprised that the creative team responsible for the video couldn’t see the “scandal” coming.

Anyway, the band predictably pulled the spot after too many people complained about it being insensitive to the traditions and concerns of the Native American community; they even shut down their own website’s online forum after discussion of the video overwhelmed fans’ comments.

Today Zimbio asks whether this controversy served any discernible purpose, and it’s a good question. Arguments on both sides popped up over the past week, with some decrying the proliferation of political correctness while others lamented the public’s general ignorance of American Indian history and the perpetuation of long-discredited stereotypes.

Can we take any lessons from the band’s screw-up other than the fact that big-name pop stars should choose their video themes very carefully? Did the band make the right decisions to control the damage? And how could they have avoided the controversy (besides making an entirely different video)? Here’s the offending spot in case you missed it:

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