Myriam Fares thought it a good idea to get body-painted in black in an Africa-themed video. The internet didn't agree.
Garnering over two million views in just four days, Myriam Fares' video for new song, Goumi, which is an explicit call to women to get up and dance and 'show them that beauty, girl!', proved a massive success, at least for those who like Khaliji songs. We soon found out, however, that the lyrics should be the least of our concerns.
The video starts with snappy shots from what appears to be an African tribal set, before quickly moving on to the songstress giving us some Shakira realness - so far, so good. Well, not quite. She seems to be covered in white powder. It's weird, but ok. What isn't ok is when things (and colours) escalated very quickly and suddenly, Fares appears in blackface. Definitely not ok.
The upbeat video ends with her glamorously posing while surrounded by models, some of which are actually, authentically black who are basically used as props to compliment the theme. The question begs itself: how is it that one of the Arab world's biggest pop stars can display such a lack of cultural sensitivity? Or even worse, isn't even aware there was an issue?
The incident naturally sent shockwaves among her fans - in addition to anyone with a working understanding of how racism works, and that other races' cultures, heritages, and distinctive physical features are not mere accessories for entertainment purposes. Here's what some very angry people had to say.
This is blackface. It is actually sad that these issues are not discussed in our Arab culture and someone can actually make a whole music video without seeing any problem with this. This is completely racist and ignorant #ميريام_فارس #MyriamFares #blackface @myriamfares pic.twitter.com/AkmgYweCGg— 🦂 (@arabianscorpi) December 15, 2018
This is repulsive and very disgraceful!— 𝐋𝐨𝐮 (@AlaaH28) December 14, 2018
Someone's race and culture is NOT your costume. Bad move from Myriam!
We're almost in 2019 and people in the MENA region still find it hard to fully understand and grasp the meaning of 'Racism'
ktir 3ayb walla.https://t.co/9Jo8jZZw8t
#Goumi the hell outta here @myriamfares & @SherifTarhini. Not 1 person on ur crew thought about cultural appropriation & racism? Blackface kaman? Race is not a look 4 u to put on & take off. 3aib w تفه https://t.co/YCe46jVfd9— Rita Kabalan - ريتا قبلان (@TatouK) December 13, 2018
Until now, the singer hasn't issued any comments on the controversy, which is slowly but surely picking up steam...