Billie Eilish has sparked backlash for saying she identifies with Cindy McPhearson, a character from The Boondocks animated adult series — a character meant to satirize suburban white girls appropriating black culture.
This comes less than a month after she apologized for using a racial slur.
“I think my favorite cartoon character honestly would be Cindy from The Boondocks,” she said in a three-year-old resurfaced interview clip on Twitter. “That’s like me, if I just did all the things I thought about doing,” Eilish said.
19-year-old Eilish reportedly praised Cindy’s bossy attitude and mentioned several times how much she loved that Cindy always stood up to her friends later on in the interview, according to Buzzfeed News.
However, the character is meant to portray a white girl from the suburbs who uses a “blaccent,” and having many stereotypically black interests, while being oblivious to racial issues. After the clip went viral on Twitter with more than 320,000 views, people started to call out the “Bad Guy” singer for relating to the character.
One person on Twitter defended Eilish saying, “It’s not that deep. The show is for everyone. She can identify as any character she wants. Get some help.” To which another Twitter user called out the fact that, “cindys whole character is pretending to be black so the fact that she relates to her is a little concerning.”
the show is literally based off of black stereotypes that black people can laugh at.... cindys whole character is pretending to be black so the fact that she relates to her is a little concerning— salem baudelaire 🍓💗💌⭐|🧁 in 24 days! (@CMIYGLVINYL) July 8, 2021
Another person added, “Every character is a stereotype. Relate to whoever you want. The important part is understanding why emulating any of those characters is bad.”
Every character is a stereotype. Relate to whoever you want. The important part is understanding why emulating any of those characters is bad.— Abyssmal (@Abyssmal2) July 8, 2021
Many of the comments showed the back and forth between defending Eilish watching the show and getting enjoyment out of it, while others don’t think she has any right to:
I'm pretty sure the creator disagrees with this notion of only black people should enjoy the boondocks...but I don't think that's gonna stop people unfortunately from pushing it— Da1rocky (@Da1rocky) July 9, 2021
Cause we all understood what satire meant as kids. She might have been a pop star but she was a teenager. Wouldn't it be a real joke if your misconceptions about the world as a teenager came to repeatedly attack you. She couldn't possibly understand things better now as an adult.— Hawkish (@slallegre) July 10, 2021
i believe the term ur looking for is reach? this y y'all need to stay in white ppl vernacular.— catbug🍒 (@liloceanwater) July 8, 2021
Twitter users finding something new to whine about pic.twitter.com/Kybh0qaten— the governor of new inglewood (@pornaccount26) July 8, 2021
The following is Eilish’s apology and explanation for last month’s resurfaced video of her using racial slurs, which she says was filmed when she “was 13 or 14:”
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this. And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.
There’s a video edit going around of me when I was 13 or 14 where I mouthed a word from a song that at the time I didn’t know was a derogatory term and used against members of the Asian community. I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word. This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.
The other video in that edited clip is me speaking in a silly gibberish made up voice… something I started doing as a kid and have done my whole life when talking to my pets, friends, and family. It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST. Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.
Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it. I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality.
We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.”