Iggy Azalea's Blackfish Music Video Scandal Explained

Iggy Azalea is currently flying high with her new single, "I Am the Stripclub," with its sleek new video surpassing three million YouTube views since its July 2 unveiling.

But the Australian rapper, 31, has also come under fire from a number of detractors, who have accused her of Blackfishing in the video.

In one part of the clip, the usually blonde star is seen in the back of a truck wearing a long, black wig as she's flanked by a host of vogueing dancers.

As screenshots from the scene began circulating on Twitter over the weekend, the star was accused of darkening her skin for the video, prompting charges of Blackfishing.

According to NBC News, Blackfishing is a term that has been credited (at least in part) to hip-hop journalist Wanna Thompson, who in 2018 shared a Twitter thread of a string of non-Black public figures who had used makeup, Photoshop and cosmetic surgery to appear Black or mixed race.

Some have compared it to blackface, the racist centuries-old practise of a non-Black person applying dark makeup, often to mock the features of Black people.

However, Azalea—real name Amethyst Kelly—soon caught wind of the accusations, branding them "ridiculous and baseless," while insisting that she was no darker in the video than she usually appears.

Responding to the criticism on Twitter, Azalea wrote: "I can't care about something that ridiculous and baseless. I'm wearing a shade 6 in armarni foundation, it's the same shade I've worn for the last 3 years.

"It's the same shade in every music video since sally Walker. Suddenly I wear a black wig in a club scene & its an issue."

As the criticism continued to flow in, the star defended herself once again, as she shared an image of the specific product she uses.

"This is the color I wear, it's on the arm color of a tan white person," she wrote. "I'm not wearing crazy dark makeup at ALL.

"Everyone in the club scene looks darker, it's a club scene! I'm sick of ppl trying to twist my words or make shit a problem when all I've done is try a hair color."

In a further tweet, the "Fancy" hitmaker went on to state that the video was shot "in a dimly lit room with red lights. It's the same makeup from every other part of the video just with a Smokey eye and different wig."

I can’t care about something that ridiculous and baseless.
I’m wearing a shade 6 in armarni foundation, it’s the same shade I’ve worn for the last 3 years.
It’s the same shade in every music video since sally Walker.
Suddenly I wear a black wig in a club scene & its an issue.

— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 3, 2021

This is the color I wear, it’s on the arm color of a tan white person.
I’m not wearing crazy dark makeup at ALL.
Everyone in the club scene looks darker, it’s a club scene!
I’m sick of ppl trying to twist my words or make shit a problem when all I’ve done is try a hair color. pic.twitter.com/CGQIOQiWGD

— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 3, 2021

When another Twitter user suggested to Azalea that she could have effectively defended herself by explaining the image had possibly been darkened, the musician shot back: "Or maybe the internet could watch my music video and see for themselves instead of tryna dog me because a random page I have nothing to do with posted an edit?

"Leave me be, I don't bother anyone, ppl stay tryna create s*** outta nothing online.
Just BORED."

By Sunday, Azalea appeared keen to put the issue to bed, as she toasted the music video's success and thanked her supporters—as well as "everyone showing me hate."

She tweeted: "To everyone showing me love: Thankyou for dedicating your day to me & helping me promote, I love you! To everyone showing me hate: Thankyou for dedicating your day to me & helping me promote, I love you!"

In the past, Kim and Khloé Kardashian, as well as their younger sister Kylie Jenner, have faced accusations of Blackfishing.

Blackface author Ayanna Thompson told Time of the sisters in a June interview: "There's a reason why they've done this and why they have made money on this. That's the ultimate power of whiteness, right? That I can like these things, which we may want to denigrate, but I don't have to stay there. I get to come back to the safety of whiteness."

Newsweek has contacted a representative for Iggy Azalea for comment.

Iggy Azalea accused of blackfishing in video
Rapper Iggy Azalea has been accused of blackfishing in the music video for her latest single, "I Am The Stripclub" (R). Gary Gershoff/Getty Images/YouTube