Beyonce pulled out a stellar performance in Coldplay’s new music video, but she is stirring up some controversy because of the Bollywood character she plays in the video, prompting many to accuse her of cultural appropriation.
The video, which dropped on Friday, is for “Hymn for the Weekend” and is directed by Ben Mor. The video takes place in Mumbai and contains scenes in which colorful powder is thrown, as is the custom in the Holi spring festival, and kids jump in the water and dance.
At one point, dressed in a plunging gown with a backdrop of flowers behind her, Beyonce sings while wearing a sari, henna tattoos on her hands and traditional Indian jewelry.
It is this outfit that has people up in arms, with many pointing out that it is inappropriate for Beyonce to dress as an Indian woman and that the video exploits Hindu spirituality while perpetuating ethnic stereotypes.
“Are we gonna discuss how Beyonce dressing up as an Indian woman for the Coldplay video is cultural appropriation, or no?” wrote one Twitter user.
“Cultural appropriation is about power structures just as with racism. How is Beyoncé, a black woman, offensively appropriating?” another user countered.
Grio fam, where do you stand on this debate?
so lets discuss beyonce & cold play.
appropriation or appreciation?
— CozyBoy Meech (@meechonmars) January 29, 2016
For the deprived westerners fangirling over Beyoncé wearing Indian garb, LEMME SHOW YOU REAL INDIAN BEAUTIES pic.twitter.com/WWmeJ4fcgX
— Ras. (@chaandaniya) January 29, 2016
I just don't like that Beyoncé was supposed to be an Indian actress, it's like white actors playing black or Asian characters
— Ash (@ashliya_) January 29, 2016
— Ekta (@protEkta) January 30, 2016
when Kylie wears a bindi its appropriation but when Beyoncé is in full blown desi attire its appreciation??? ok
— champagne nani (@syedaaaa_) January 29, 2016