If you have ears and access to a computer you've probably heard about the song "Asian Girlz" by now. Played by Day Above Ground — which are kind of like Hoobastank but sh*ttier and more offensive — the song quickly went viral because of how offensive it is.
What you may have not caught wind of was how some badass chicks called out Day Above Ground and played a critical role in the band's downward spiral. AF3IRM, which stands for the Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-Feudalization, and Marginalization, rallied to get the House of Blues and On-Stage Sounds to end sponsorship with the band. Within a span of two days, there was a petition with more than 1,500 signatures calling for a sponsorship termination ... and the signatures continued at Change.org.
Spurred from the petition, House of Blues axed their play time for the band, then On-Stage Sounds talked to AF3IRM and said they were "no longer a sponsor of the band and was trying to get it's name off the band's website," according to an AF3IRM press release. A few days after that, the music video was removed from YouTube.
AF3IRM's actions were about more than just calling the band out, though. They were about sending a message that misogyny, racism, and the perpetuation of stereotypes won't be tolerated.
See the awful video below:
"The stereotypes, particularly those hyper-sexualizing Asian and Asian American women, are themselves products of centuries of U.S. militarism in Asia — telling of the rape, sexual violence, and the trafficking of Asian women at the hands of U.S. personnel," the press release said. "Our history of oppression was mocked in the music video."
For example, here's a snippet of some of the lyrics: "So, baby, marry me / Come on, sit on my lap (right here, baby) / Or we'll send you back / And you age so well / I can barely tell / 17 or 23? / Baby, doesn't matter to me."
Even Levy Tran, who starred in Day Above Ground's video, signed AF3IRM's petition and apologized for offending people.
"I sincerely apologize to all who feels that I set Asian women back 50 yrs. I know I lost respect from a lot of ppl. It wasn't my intention," she tweeted.
After the backlash the band received, Day Above Ground came forward to say that they're actually not racist at all. They thought that since the song and video was so over the top and ridiculous they didn't think anyone would come to the conclusion that they're racist assholes.
"We appreciate all the criticism and support," they said in an updated video description on YouTube. "Our song 'Asian Girlz' was not written with any malicious, hateful, or hurtful intent. We know it is racy and does push the boundaries further than other songs out there. Understand that we do not promote or support racism or violence. We love everyone no matter what race, religion, or sexual orientation. Please respect our decision to delete any violent, insensitive, or hurtful comment and also one that supports racism. We hope that we can continue with our lives with much love and peace."
Comically pretending to be racist is a move reserved for the likes of Stephen Colbert, because everyone knows the beloved political satirist isn't actually serious. (Plus, he's actually good at it.) People like Colbert sometimes use offensive humor to draw attention to social injustice or the sheer ridiculousness of something. Day Above Ground just perpetuated stereotypes with their song and video.
However, I will say that I have a little bit more faith in humanity after seeing the internet's response to the band's song. But, of course, the ladies of AF3IRM should take a lot of the credit for this victory.