Coldplay and Beyonce's "Hymn for the Weekend" Video Sparks Debate About Cultural Appropriation

Coldplay 'Hymn for the Weekend' Video Still - H 2016
Courtesy Photo

"No wonder then that #India will be known as the country of snake charmers & sadhus," tweets one critic.

Coldplay's new "Hymn for the Weekend" video featuring Beyonce that was released on Friday is catching some heat over its Indian inspiration, with some online calling the Mumbai-shot clip a work of appropriation while others defend it as an appreciation of the culture.

Detractors took aim at both Coldplay and Beyonce, but in different ways. While Beyonce's appearance dressed up as a Bollywood star initially garnered awe, a backlash followed.

"Are we gonna discuss how Beyonce dressing up as an Indian woman for the Coldplay video is cultural appropriation, or no?" said one Twitter user. Wrote another: "Just because it's Beyonce, doesn't mean she's right. She is being offensive and appropriating our culture."

Others supported Bey's wardrobe choices. "I adore Beyonce for embracing my culture," said one tweet. Another Twitter user said: "Cultural appropriation is about power structures just as with racism. How is Beyonce, a black woman, offensively appropriating?"

Some recalled Iggy Azalea's "Bounce" video, which garnered some unwanted attention over similar calls of appropriation. And several pointed out this isn't the first time Coldplay has used (misused?) Asian culture in its videos, noting the band's Rihanna-featuring "Princess of China" video.

For better or worse, it is a Coldplay music video (Beyonce didn't even travel for it), so a large amount of blame was put on the British rock band. Some did note that Chris Martin and company did actually fly to India and "immerse themselves" in the culture, hiring an Indian director, cast and crew for the project.

Said one Twitter user: "@coldplay don't exoticize us. You've been to the clubs and everything. Why do you want to make it seem like all we do is dance in the streets." Wrote another: "No thanks for the bundle of stereotypes @coldplay. No wonder then that #India will be known as the country of snake charmers & sadhus."

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