WITCH UPDATE 

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The story behind the group who took on Bieber’s music video.

Dear Indy readers,

For those of you who believed that Bieber actually responded to our letter, we are writing to inform you that you may be disappointed. WITCH is in fact comprised of two junior girls, Diana Ingerman and Ritchey Howe. Though we presented WITCH as a fictional Harvard organization, it reflects our honest convictions about Justin Bieber’s problematic “What Do You Mean” song and video.

WITCH is responsible not only for the preliminary letter to Bieber, but also for the “response” from Bieber’s team. Thus, Justin Bieber x Campus Change is a fictional campaign. The goal of this fictional venture was to spark conversation and debate about sexism in pop culture. We want you to consider: how should figures of authority, those who work in pop-culture and otherwise, respond to the prevalent issue of sexual assault? We have heard from many of you are surprised that Bieber would revise his video; some have even congratulated Bieber for his response. Unfortunately, he played no part. Would this even have been an appropriate response if it were true?

We chose Justin Bieber as the agent for our art project due to his mass appeal and celebrity. However, he is just one of the musicians we endorse that contributes to the proliferation of sexism, which subconsciously shapes the way we interact with one another. We hope that the few days, or moments for you savvy skeptics, between believing our project was real and this reveal, you realized how easily offensive, sexist messages have proliferated our culture and, more importantly, that we have the ability to act to change this culture once we become aware of it. We believe that exposing the issues and raising awareness is only the first step, the next requires action.We urge you keep our art project alive; like the original WITCH group, we encourage anyone interested in imagining zaps for social change to follow our lead.

Please feel free to comment with any thoughts or concerns.

Sincerely,

Diana and Ritchey