The New York Times profiled John Mayer after a "self-imposed irrelevance" following his self-inflicted career sabotage in 2010. "What I did was probably semi-consciously just reboot it — control, alt, delete," he told the Times. Now that he's rebooted himself, Mayer has a new album coming out and he's ready to prove to you that he's not that guy you thought he was: a womanising, arrogant narcissist who's also pretty racist.
Mayer let the Times observe as he filmed the music video for a song called "Still Feel Like Your Man." He wrote it about missing Katy Perry. The song itself, Mayer said, was reminiscent of a thing he made up called "ancient Japanese R&B," and the music video takes place in what he called a "disco dojo."
And yeah, it's as bad as you think it's going to be.
On set the next day, there was a makeshift bamboo forest, a woman in full geisha garb and two people in giant panda suits, making up a bizarre tableau that Mr. Mayer called a "disco dojo."
Yet for someone so attuned to the risk of offending people again — "I have nightmares about a second occurrence of" the Playboy era, he said — Mr. Mayer seemed sanguine about the possibility of a controversy over cultural appropriation, an issue that has dogged other pop stars.
"I think we were as sensitive as we could possibly be," he said over burgers at the Polo Lounge the day after the video shoot. "It was discussed at every juncture."
"Part of cultural appropriation is blindness," he added. "I'm on the right side of the line because it's an idea for the video that has a very multi-ethnic casting, and nobody who is white or non-Asian is playing an Asian person."
Bamboo, geisha, panda, dojo. It's like he storyboarded this video by pulling from a grab bag of East Asian concepts. Is the bar so low at this point that it's groundbreaking simply to not cast a white person to play an Asian person?
Mayer's comments didn't go unnoticed, and when writer and activist Shaun Lau called him out on Twitter, Mayer got defensive. Soon after that exchange, Mayer locked his account.
Seems he underestimated how sensitive he could be about all this stuff. So much for being a changed man.
Via: Cosmopolitan US