Coldplay & Beyonce Accused Of Cultural Appropriation In New Music Video

Beyoncé has recently come under fire for her role in Coldplay’s new music video for “Hymn For The Weekend,” the second single from Coldplay’s new album, A Head Full Of Dreams. People are questioning whether the singer’s appearance constitutes cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is defined as the “adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture.”

The video, directed by Ben Mor, features Beyoncé playing the role of a Bollywood actress dressed in traditional Desi adornment. Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, attends a local movie theatre to watch her latest production. There are scenes that highlight the local culture and feature the band celebrating Holi and interacting with the local people.

The video’s mixed reception has created an intense dialogue on the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. People are currently taking issue with Beyoncé’s use of cultural elements, claiming that she is using them as a type of costume.

“Hymn For The Weekend” features, albeit briefly, Bollyhood actresss, Sonam Kapoor. Given that a Desi woman was enlisted to partake in this music video, it raises the question as to why Coldplay or Ben Mor did not choose a Desi actress for Beyoncé’s role.

It appears that the video seeks to positive capture celebrational aspects of the city’s culture, specifically India’s Holi festival. However, people have pointed out that the video’s depiction of the festival is stereotypical in itself.

Appropriation of Desi traditions has become a frequent topic of discussion. Recently, Iggy Azalea came under fire for her video “Bounce” and Selena Gomez for “Come And Get It.”

Regardless of Beyoncé’s contribution to “Hymn For The Weekend,” there is no reason for her to be taking on the role of a Bollywood actress. She is an American Black woman – not a Desi woman. No amount of cultural adornment or intense study of Desi traditions and culture will change that.

You can watch the music video below via YouTube.

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