The music video, with the theme "Cowboys and Indians," is for the driving dance track Looking Hot, which debuted on Friday. It instantly sparked a negative reaction in the band's fan forums and in the comments section of video-sharing websites.
"As a multiracial band, our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures," the band wrote in a website post explaining the decision on Saturday.
"Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize native American people, their culture or their history," the post continued. "We sincerely apologize to the native American community and anyone else offended by this video. Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are."
In the video, which can still be found online, the band is dressed in a series of costumes styled after native tribal and Old West clothing.
1st studio release in a decade
Donning several different outfits in the video, lead singer Gwen Stefani portrays a native woman captured by two men — No Doubt drummer Adrian Young and guitarist Tom Dumont, who are dressed as western gunfighters. Meanwhile, bassist Tony Kanal portrays an imprisoned native man who ultimately frees Stefani's character.
The video also includes scenes of Kanal carving wooden weapons, a cowboys and Indians battle, and Stefani sending smoke signals, cavorting next to a wolf inside a teepee and dancing around a bonfire.
According to the web posting, the band had consulted with "native American friends and native American studies experts at the University of California."
Looking Hot is the second single from No Doubt's sixth album, Push and Shove. Released in September, it's the first studio release in a decade by the California band, known for hits including Just a Girl, Don't Speak, Spiderwebs and Hey Baby.
The Looking Hot video was directed by Melina Matsoukas, who also helmed videos such as We Found Love and S&M by chart-topping dance-pop singer Rihanna. The latter track was also embroiled in controversy when photographer David LaChapelle alleged S&M infringed copyrighted images he had taken for Italian Vogue. He filed a lawsuit against Rihanna and Matsoukas, but the case was settled out of court.