Just in case you missed it, Beyonce and Coldplay dropped a new music video yesterday. So before we start, quick question: When you think about India what comes to your mind? Whatever it is, after today, it will surely change. Now, once you think about India, you’ll think about Beyonce wearing traditional Desi garb, henna tattoos and the weave from a Hindu temple dyed blonde.
Why? Because “Hymn for the Weekend,” off of Coldplay’s new album, “A Head Full of Dreams,” is filled with so many Indian cliches you’ll be amazed that Amandla Stenberg hasn’t produced an angry rant video about it.
Filmed mostly on location in Mumbai, India (the Beyonce parts obviously weren’t) by director Ben Mor, the video comes a week before Beyonce and Chris Martin, along with that band he’s in, are set to perform during the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show on February 7. Throughout the video, Our Modern Day Virgin Mary follows Chris like a stubborn STD that just won’t go away even when he’s trying to do as the locals and get into Holi. She’s on a billboard, she’s on a movie screen, she’s EVERYWHERE.
As the New York Daily News points out, some people on Twitter accused them of cultural appropriation:
“Are we gonna discuss how Beyonce dressing up as an Indian woman for the Coldplay video is cultural appropriation, or no?”
“Beyonce’s appropriation was unnecessary imo. If it was someone white it would’ve been [racist]. I think there’s a difference.”
On the other side, some fans don’t necessarily view it as cultural appropriation but more-so appreciation.
“Beyonce did nothing wrong…y’all really gotta learn the difference between appreciation and appropriation”
If Beyonce really wanted to showcase her love of Indian culture she should have taken notes from her husband, Jay-Z and call Panjabi MC to do a track with him. Somewhere in Mumbai, a discotheque is still listening to “Beware of the Boys” and it’s 2016, honey. Hell, I still listen to “Beware of the Boys.”