Gwen Stefani was accused of cultural appropriation for her attire in her music video for the single “Light My Fire.”
Collaborating with Jamaican rapper Sean Paul and fellow singer Shenseea, Stefani, 52, can be seen sporting dreadlocks and a green, black and yellow dress to represent the colors of the Jamaican flag.
The “Voice” coach immediately came under fire for the style choice.
“Y’all. Mother Appropriation is BACK!!!!” one person tweeted.
By saying Stefani is “back” people are referring to her first solo album, “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.,” which she released in 2004.
The album featured multiple songs referencing Tokyo’s Harajuku fashion. When she’d perform those tracks live, she was often flanked by four Japanese backup dancers.
Twitter commenters brought this up when slamming her.
“Dear Gwen, You’re far too comfortable with cultural appropriation. Y’all remember the harajuku girls? The bindi she chose to wear in one of her videos? The bantu knots? The imitation of indigenous culture within a music video, as well as, indecently portraying Latina women?” one person commented.
They accused her of playing “cultural dress up” and wanted her to be more authentic.
“It’s time you stop treating people’s heritage like a childish game & give it the respect it deserves. Alternatively, why don’t you portray your OWN cultural background within your work? I’m sure people would love to see that,” another chided.
Some people did take her side, however, acknowledging that Paul had given the video his stamp of approval.
Paul himself even told Rolling Stone in an interview how excited he was to have a song with Stefani saying, “I’ve been a fan of Gwen Stefani forever.”
Shenseea said in the same interview, “I feel honored to be tapped by two legends for this collaboration, the whole process was exciting and collaborative.”
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