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Estelle Defends Black Face Paint in ‘Freak’ Video

British singe Estelle is gearing up for the release of her third album ‘All of Me’ due later this year, but the video for her single ‘Freak’ is stirring up some unexpected controversy with her fan base. Several segments of the video feature Estelle wearing black face and body makeup, and the clips have struck a negative chord with fans and critics who are offended by her decision to use “blackface.”

On Monday (Mar. 1) Estelle told MTV News that she was surprised by the reaction to the video. “Those comments were the first thing I saw after we released the video trailer,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Are you joking?”

In the promo trailer for the video, director Nabil Elderkin — who has collaborated with Kanye West in the past — says that he planned to explore Estelle in a range of different looks. Neither of them seemed to anticipate the backlash from the black paint snippets.

“I think they need to wait to see the clip. I could defend myself, but it’s just silly,” Estelle said. “I’m black, so how do I do blackface? Missy did the same thing [with her video] ‘She’s a Bitch.’ I refuse to defend it, I didn’t put any white ring around my mouth — never that.”

Check out the preview for Estelle’s video ‘Freak’ here.

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