Tag Archives: Cultural Appropriation

Katy Perry (Sorta) Addresses Cultural Appropriation Critiques

June 13, 2017
DeRay McKesson (left) and Katy Perry (right) recording an episode of McKesson’s podcast. (Photo credit: Katy Perry livestream / screen grab from YouTube video posted by Kiwi in Munich)

In the latest episode of DeRay McKesson’s podcast, “Pod Save the People” (Episode 8:  “When You Have to Face Yourself”), McKesson interviews singer Katy Perry. During the conversation, Perry and McKesson discuss many topics, including the subject of cultural appropriation.

Perry has been heavily criticized — including by this blog — for multiple incidents of racial insensitivity and cultural appropriation, including at the 2013 AMA Music Awards when Perry dressed as a geisha in an Orientalist staging of her song “Unconditionally” (video after the jump). Perry was also accused of racism and appropriating black hair for her music video, “This Is How We Do“, wherein the singer was shown wearing cornrows and eating watermelon.

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South Asian Women Respond to Azealia Banks’ Racist and Homophobic Twitter Meltdown

May 11, 2016
Azealia Banks in a screen capture from her music video, "Atlantis". (Photo credit: YouTube)
Azealia Banks in a screen capture from her music video, “Atlantis”. (Photo credit: YouTube)

Songwriter and artist Azealia Banks is no stranger to controversy. Banks has made headlines — and won popular opinion — for her ardent support of Black civil rights and civic engagement, such as her suggestion in 2014 that “America owes Black people over $100 trillion” in reparations for chattel slavery and its aftermath. However, Banks has also received her fair share of criticism for slut-shaming and victim-blaming the women raped and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, calling T.I. a “shoe-shining coon“, and routinely using homophobic slurs in heated Twitter exchanges with other celebrities. Vulture asked last year whether Banks’ ugly bigotry has overshadowed her considerable lyrical skill, with the writer concluding that “no longer [can] we laugh off her behaviour.”

In her latest Twitter meltdown, Banks spent most of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning posting disgustingly racist, homophobic, and xenophobic slurs targeting fellow musician and former One Direction member Zayn Malik, who is biracially Pakistani British. Banks was apparently infuriated by her perception that Malik had copied some of Banks’ personal style. Whether or not that is true, this is no excuse for the revolting bigotry of Banks’ tweets, published late last night (screenshots after the jump via Kajalmag.com; trigger warning for slurs).

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Disrespecting Diwali: A Look at Our Cultural Hypocrisy

December 2, 2015
A child lights candles during Diwali, or the "Festival of Lights".
A child lights candles during Diwali, or the “Festival of Lights”.

By Guest Contributor: Sridhar Karra

When I was a college student, I attended my university’s annual Diwali program, organized by a Hindu student organization on campus. In a university with a large number of Hindu students, turnout at this yearly event is substantial and attendance stretches far beyond the Hindu population. Students who are not Hindu or Indian enthusiastically attend in droves, with some professors in the Sociology department even urging their students to attend in order to understand and appreciate the Hindu festival.

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