Rihanna Apologizes For ‘Careless’ Use Of Sacred Islamic Texts During Savage X Fenty Fashion Show
Rihanna is issuing an apology after upsetting her Muslim fan base at this year’s Savage X Fenty virtual lingerie fashion show.
Although the second annual event has already earned a reputation for being fun, sexy, diverse, and inclusive in every way its outdated competition couldn’t be (sorry not sorry, Victoria’s Secret!), viewers were quick to point out a glaringly offensive mistake when it debuted Friday, October 2 on Amazon Prime Video.
Fans cried foul as a star-studded lineup of models including Bella Hadid, Willow Smith, Irina Shayk, and more danced to a track called Doom by London-based producer Coucou Chloe that included a “Hadith” — a collection of written accounts of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. The selection was seemingly remixed and sped up to compliment the accompanying beat, but as we mentioned, it didn’t go unnoticed.
For more context on how serious this grievance was, the hadith is considered extremely sacred to Muslims and “comes secondary only to the Quran in terms of textual authority,” per CNN. As the public reacted to the surprising move on social media, one Twitter user challenged the 32-year-old artist directly on the platform, writing in a string of tweets:
“i think the person who created the song knew what they were doing. That is a very specific hadith. U have to go looking to find it. It’s not something non-muslims know unless they research. So the fact that the song is called Doom & the hadith is about the end of times? @rihanna?”
“it’s the way if we speak hadiths or phrases from the quran out loud muslims would literally be arrested bc of folk thinking we’re terrorists but here you have rihanna and her team using precious words of prayer and guidance as an aesthetic. i expected better from you @rihanna”
Yikes. Definitely not a good look!
On Tuesday morning, Rih addressed the backlash in a statement shared to her Instagram Story. Her apology reads:
“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.”
As seen (below):
It’s worth noting the artist whose song she featured also tweeted out an apology over the sacred sample:
I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me. We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms. 2/2
— COUCOU CHLOE (@coucou_chloe) October 5, 2020
It really isn’t our place to accept or deny their heartfelt words, but we have to say, owning up to the mistake like this is definitely the right thing to do.
We’re glad the Bajan superstar didn’t just sweep this one under the rug even if it was an honest mistake, and here’s to gaining important insight to prevent this sort of icky thing from happening again! Perezcious readers, wouldn’t U agree? Let us know your thoughts on all of this (below) in the comments.
[Image via Amazon Prime Video]