Billie Eilish has sparked backlash for saying she identifies with Cindy McPhearson from The Boondocks cartoon – a character meant to satirize suburban white girls appropriating black culture – just three weeks after she had to apologize for using a racial slur.
‘I think my favorite character honesty would be Cindy from The Boondocks,’ she said in the three-year-old interview with Montreality, a clip from which was recently posted on Twitter.
‘That’s like me, if I did all the things I thought about doing.’
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.
But the character is meant to portray a white girl from the suburbs who uses a ‘blaccent,’ and having many stereotypically black interests, while ultimately being oblivious to racial issues. Soon after the clip went viral – with more than 2,200 retweets and 3,800 likes – people started to call Eilish, 19, out for relating to the character, who they claim appropriates black culture.
In a resurfaced interview, pop star Bilie Eilish, left, said her favorite cartoon character is Cindy McPhearson, right, from ‘The Boondocks,’ a white girl from the suburbs who appropriated black culture but was oblivious to racial issues
‘That character was literally placed in The Boondocks to satirize white girls who build their entire personality off hip-hop culture… and that’s her fave’, LoLoVonZ tweeted.
Others, meanwhile, drew parallels between the popstar and the fictional character, with @CMIYGLVINYL tweeting ‘the show is literally based off of black stereotypes that black people can laugh at.
‘Cindy’s whole character is pretending to be black, so the fact that she relates to her is a little concerning.’
But another tweeter wrote that ‘it’s actually funny that she feels connected to Cindy because they’re the same.
‘Cindy is a white girl from the suburbs with no connection to blackness but still puts on a blaccent for no reason, and that’s Billie herself.’
Jenny wrote: ‘Seeing Billie Eilish say her favourite cartoon character is Cindy from The Boondocks and talk about how much she relates to her might be one of the funniest examples of complete ignorance I’ve ever seen,’ and another Twitter user by the name ‘Maddie’ said ‘Billie Eilish relating to Cindy McPhearson is such a self-report.’
And Karina said: ‘Cindy’s whole character revolves around pretending to be black.
‘The pieces are all coming together,’ she said. ‘It’s all connecting.’
Several people took to Twitter after the three-year-old video resurfaced to slam Eilish for liking a character that critics say pretended to be black
Other Twitter users, however, came to her defense.
Annabell Vaughan said she did not think Billie Eilish being a fan of Cindy from The Boondocks is ‘a bad thing.’
‘It’s a cartoon television show,’ she wrote on July 9. ‘I don’t think Billie being a fan is her being racist. Finding enjoyment in a show that’s not about your own culture and liking the bossy little girl is not a crime.’
And @Cicitrench96 said: ‘Y’all have to relax. This is such a nonissue. This fake, performative outrage is why people don’t take our actual issues seriously.’
Others, however, defended the 19-year-old popstar for being a fan of he sitcom
The latest controversy comes just three weeks after she issued an apology for a series of videos that resurfaced showing her using a slur for Asian people, allegedly imitating an Asian accent and using a ‘blaccent.’
‘Many of you have been asking me to address this,’ she said in her Instagram story. ‘This is something I want to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.’
‘There’s a video edit of me when I was 13 or 14 where I mouthed a word from a song at the time I didn’t know was a derogatory term used against members of the Asian community.
‘This song was the only time I’d 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 that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.’
She also said she was not trying to mock Asian or black accents in the video clip, instead saying she was speaking in a ‘silly gibberish made-up voice,’ which she has been doing since she was a child ‘when talking to my pets, friends and family.’
‘It is in no way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the slightest,’ Eilish wrote. ‘Anyone who knows m 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,’ she concluded. ‘We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning.’