Earlier this morning, Rihanna took to Instagram stories to apologize for the use of a track at the Savage x Fenty Vol. 2 show which sparked a discussion around cultural appropriation of Islamic practices.
While the show received praise for its diversity, a track featured in the show, “Doom” by Coucou Chloe, used vocal samples of a Hadith. These sacred Islamic phrases are records of the traditions, sayings, and actions of the Prophet Muhammad and give guidance on the details of religious practices, correct forms of greetings, and other instructions.
Below is a transcription of Rihanna’s apology:
I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x fenty show. I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and i’m incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.
Coucou Chloe also took to Twitter to release an apology, adding that the song will be removed from all streaming platforms.
Though Rihanna has received accusations of cultural appropriation in the past, the controversy is relatively unusual for the social justice-minded celebrity, who signed an open letter calling for New York State to repeal statute 50-A, a law that protects police personnel’s disciplinary records from being seen by the public.
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