Is Beyoncé guilty of cultural appropriation? A few Indian writers weigh in | xoNECOLE
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Is Beyoncé guilty of cultural appropriation? A few Indian writers weigh in

Comments (43)
  1. Everything is offensive now. ..I just blinked and offended 63.4 people.

    (7)
    1. Society is so sensitive and sucks now

      (2)
    2. It’s a culture why wouldn’t you be sensitive?

      (1)
  2. I figured this was going to happen when I saw the video. We can’t complain when it’s done to us if we don’t respect other cultures

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    1. Nae says:

      I agree completely.

      (0)
  3. I can’t wait for the day where we celebrate and share each other’s culture. I thought we were getting to that place but I guess that was me being naive.

    (5)
  4. oneandonlyfaith says:

    I personally like the video because I have never saw that side of India. I thought the video was beautiful but I do understand the cultural appropriating side of the argument. I think sharing cultures is great but there should always be a level of respect when doing so.

    (4)
  5. Priya Supaul says:

    The term appropriation is thrown around so loosely these days. Being of West Indian/Indian descent, I don’t think they offended the culture but rather embraced it and showcased it respectfully. We ask for acceptance and diversity but go for blame when it happens. But that’s my 2 cents ….

    (4)
  6. DarkEmpress says:

    I think the reason why cultural appropriation is so bothersome is that minorities can never perform or display their own culture in the mainstream and then people who are part of the mainstream adopt it and are praised for it. So if there were more Indian actors in Hollywood and Indian singers in the music industry I guarantee that Indian people would be less irritated that the only time they are represented is when someone from the mainstream imitates them. The same goes for black people. We wouldn’t be offended by white people taking on black culture for their amusement of black culture was able to thrive in the mainstream and if when black artists displayed black culture they received the same recognition and praise that whites do when they imitate black culture.

    (4)
  7. I think the real question on this subject should be “would this even be discussed if an upcoming artist did this in their video?”. When people like Beyoncé reach the level of success like she has, everything that they do both personally and professionally gets criticised. I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to be offended by this by any means but I do think it’s been blown somewhat out of proportion. I guess that’s just the rules of the Internet these days

    (3)
  8. Tiara Morris says:

    Well isnt she? I love her but she doesnt get a pass on this.

    (1)
    1. Tiara Morris says:

      That doesnt make any sense. The artists are not Indian.

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    2. Exactly. But on the flip side (for argument sake) it seems like Indians are appropriating american culture by using an american icon to sell music.

      (0)
  9. So did Rihanna in princess of China.

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  10. African culture predates all culture therefore there is no misappropriation that can be done by people of African descent in this diaspora.

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  11. As long as they run around in black face in their films, like they ain’t just as black or even blacker in some cases as their origin, we can wear henna and wear bindis. Which actually is practice and was practiced in Africa long before there was a India. Stf down.

    (2)
  12. Ty Cole says:

    i’m just trying to figure out why Beyoncé’s the one being accused, what about the director
    of the video? isn’t that the person who comes up with the idea for the video, location and all? It’s 2016 and we still get butt-hurt over the smallest things. it’s a video, get over it. Lord help us.

    (2)
  13. Rebecca simpson says:

    Why that dark make up on Bey. She is a light skin woman. She is not the complexion of Mindy Kaling. This is black face in reverse.

    (1)
  14. Tee says:

    I like the video but I do think it’s constantly exploring all things exotic of India, images we are constantly shown. I wished they explored more of its land and people. I thought Bey’s costume was gorgeous however I wished she made it more traditional even having someone consult and
    The dances, but Bueno. They should’ve had actual dancers from the Indian culture who knew it well to dance with her and teach her. That turned me off the most

    (1)
  15. Niqui says:

    Finally someone said it!!!

    (0)
  16. EMPRESS SC says:

    Please no one judge me but I be confused. I quite don’t understand culture appropriation. I think the reason being is I heard so meanings. No I’m not a stan but didn’t Bey give respect to Indian culture?

    SN: I did not like the song but the video was nice. Coldplay fell off.

    (0)
  17. What I find hilarious about this whole supposed “controversy” is who the main voices are from. When I first heard I assumed it would be majority Indian but to my surprise(not really) it wasn’t. It’s amusing watching the people who wait around for something from Beyonce and then run with the negative. How are people that or non Indian have more of an issue with something than the Director who is Indian, the people of India who have made the song number one? But Lakeisha and Tyrone are completely outrages on behalf of someone not outraged at all. smh

    (3)
    1. Sarah says:

      Don’t ever come at Miley, Iggy et al EVER AGAIN if you say what Bey did is acceptable. Just don’t.

      (-3)
  18. We should break down that video. What is it about? She is all ; “drink from me.” He is all “I feel drunk & high” – someone needs to spill some tea!!!

    (0)
  19. MrsRobot says:

    So now people are offended without knowing why they are offended? The best thing is to go read the comments directly on YouTube. The debate there is more intersresting than all this forced controversy. Majority of comments by Indians are supportive of the video. It seems as some are more offended because it does not show the “developped” areas of the country, but guess what? Those parts do exist and are reality to a lot of Indians. Coldplay is not claiming to be the originator of Bollywood and is not taking away from Bollywood actresses by using Beyoncé, the actual singer, in the video. Bollywood will not come and hire Beyoncé for their movies, instead of hiring an Indian actress.They did not mock their culture and quite franckly the video was so colorful,that it gave you positive vibes. As an African, living in North America, I wonder how many things have I been appropriating? If I open a boulangerie selling croissants, am I appropriating French culture? If I sing RnB… This is getting out of hands.

    (0)
  20. Koko says:

    I don’t know what the proper moves and hand gestures should be so I can’t say if Beyonce pulled it off but I will say Indian women in general are modest and their boobies aren’t shown like that. They should have covered them. All the other women in the video were covered.

    (0)
  21. Dorothia says:

    Didn’t feel it…

    (0)
  22. Virmill1212 says:

    Oh please if this was Rihanna you’ll be saying she stayed and don’t see the big deal … Beyoncé never gets a pass for what she does everything she does gets criticized !! Where you guys been ? Beyoncé can’t even take a shit without everybody being so sensitive to everything she does !! Let the girl live !!

    (0)
  23. Bougie Chic says:

    Im from West Africa, in some parts fuji, is the traditional genre of music, some places it’s Soukous. Now in Nig where I’m from, we’ve by virtue of the mass appeal, copied the Soukous/makossa music and dance in various ways, incorporating it into our dance hall music and all even tho it’s not traditionally ours. I don’t hear anyone complaining. Coldplay and Beyonce had the courtesy to go and shoot the video over in India, and yet people have to complain abt how they didn’t showcase all the different aspect of their lives in a 4 minutes video. I love India tho i’ve never been there and I think the image portrayed in the video is generally positive. I like it

    (0)
  24. Lomd says:

    You want to know what seemed like a mockery of Indian culture to me? That “Let Go” video that had that White girl horribly dancing all around and exaggerated, while the background dancers were way more serious in their Indian dancing style.

    Beyoncé doesn’t get a pass because she’s Beyoncé. She gets a pass because, IMO, it looks like a respectulful human experience.

    (0)
  25. Taylor says:

    loved Coldplay and Rihanna ‘Princess of China’ video

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  26. Toni says:

    Beautiful video, beautiful song, clearly a respectful and honorable portrayal of India. People need to stop looking for things to be offended by. That the dance moves and costumes are not 100% like the originals should not be surprising or offensive to anyone, it’s a music video meaning it is creative playing with different elements.

    (0)
  27. Olivia says:

    You aren’t going to be able to represent an entire culture and every aspect of it in a 3 minute music video. Additionally, although I am a black woman, I sympathize when other cultures are made a mockery of. In this case, I think the director and producers were simply trying to represent the fun, lighthearted aspects of Indian culture that goes along with the song…let’s not forget that the visuals also have to match the lyrics…so it wouldn’t make sense to show Indian poverty in this.

    These days, celebs can’t do anything right without being criticized, because they are going to offend someone.

    (0)
  28. MissClaneouss says:

    This post raises some interesting views but in all honesty I have to ask this question. Is it really that deep?

    My stance has nothing to do with me stanning for Beyonce. Why would Beyonce’s hand gestures need to be the precise ‘Bharatnatyam’ ones? What about appreciating the beauty of the artistry? I refuse to be merely labelled as an ‘ignorant westerner’ and I find it appalling that Priya has been asked if she’s charmed snakes before. I truly enjoyed the video, the scenery and the brief glimpse into the streets of India. If anyone assumed that this is what every single street looked like then that would be due to their ignorance – not the production team!

    (0)
  29. Itsmenene says:

    Meanwhile I’m still waiting for that Alicia keys ft Beyoncé video to drop….🙈

    (0)
  30. Curiousgirl says:

    It’s not appropriating when the video was directed by an Indian director. Google is a helluva drug.

    (0)
  31. T says:

    Of course people will excuse Beyoncé because it’s Beyoncé.. She is the holy grail of double standards

    (-1)
    1. Dave says:

      I mean basically. Beyonce gets a pass for any and everything. Oh let it has been someone else *smh*

      (-2)

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