Cardi B has apologised for Hindu culture inappropriation. Picture: Jora Frantzis.
Cardi B has apologised for Hindu culture inappropriation. Picture: Jora Frantzis.

Fans call out Cardi B for disrespecting Hindu culture in sneaker campaign

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Nov 12, 2020

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Former reality TV star Cardi B has come under fire for making a mockery of Hindu culture during the promotion of her new sneakers on the cover of Footwear News.

The rapper, who made her debut into the shoe industry by collaborating with Reebok, was seen mimicking the Hindu Goddess Durga on the cover of the magazine.

For the exclusive issue, Cardi wore a red dress, posing as the Hindu deity, who has ten arms. And in the promo shot, she is seen holding her new sneakers.

Although she thought she was “paying homage” to the Hindu culture, she was surprised to learn that she disrespected it with fans not shy to call her out for cultural appropriation.

“Cardi B did not pay 'homage' to the Hindu goddess Durga by holding a shoe in her hand, this is plain disrespect and in no way cultural appreciation. She can’t get away with this without addressing and apologizing for mocking our culture,” said @MissAmericHANA.

Another Twitter user, @wotermelonsugrx added that what Cardi did was utter disrespect.

He said: “People are saying Cardi B is paying homage to our Hindu Goddess Durga. So as a Hindu, I want to say that: 1-Wearing a shoe in a temple is prohibited. 2-Durga maa is not to be used as an aesthetic. 3-Durga maa is NEVER depicted bare-bodied. 4-THIS. IS. NOT. HOMAGE. IT'S. DISRESPECT.”

Following the backlash, the rapper issued an apology by posting a video on her Instagram Stories.

She said: “When I did the shoot, the creatives told me I was going to represent a Goddess; that she represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something I love, and I’m all about. And though it was dope, if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say that was not my intent. I do not like offending anyone’s religion; I wouldn’t like it if someone did it to my religion."

She added: “When people dress as Virgin Mary and Jesus, as long as they do it in a beautiful, graceful way…. But I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful; maybe I should have done my research. I’m sorry, I can’t change the past, but I will do more research for the future."

Footwear News has since changed their cover and sent out an apology.

They said: “Yesterday we posted content from our exclusive Cardi B cover shoot. One of the images was intended to pay homage to the Hindu goddess Durga, and we intended to show a powerful woman. However, we realize we were not considerate of certain cultural and religious perspectives and how this could be perceived as deeply offensive. We take full accountability for this oversight, and we apologize., We must learn from this example and are sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future. Today, we’re releasing another cover from the shoot that was a subscriber-exclusive.”

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