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It seems we can’t go more than a few weeks these days without one celebrity or another embarrassing themselves by displaying racial and cultural ignorance. This week everyone’s talking about Rihanna‘s latest gaffe at her Savage X Fenty show in New York on Friday (October 2nd), whereby she used a background track which appropriates a sacred element of the Islamic religion.

Rihanna at AFI FEST 2019 / Photo Credit:  Image Press Agency/SIPA USA/PA Images

A video clip is doing the rounds showing models, drag queens and dancers strutting their stuff to the song Doom by Coucou Chloe; the remix of which features a speeded up Hadith (essentially what Muslims believe to be the word of the Prophet Muhammad) which tells of the signs of the day of judgement. As appropriate as that sounds for 2020, it has offended a great many of Rihanna’s Muslim followers and for a very good reason.

This holy scripture is clearly being used as part of a kind of exotic aesthetic, with no respectful nod to the origin whatsoever. It’s the definition of cultural appropriation, and not only that, but it’s cheapened by her use of lingerie models which is clearly at odds with Islam’s moral code of modesty. It’s fine to disagree with such a convention, but it turns to disrespect when you use that to make a mockery of their holy traditions.

While you could argue that Rihanna may not have known about the connotations of the track used in her lingerie show, this is not actually the first time she’s managed to offend the Muslim community. Back in 2013, she was criticised for taking inappropriate photos of herself outside a place of worship in Abu Dhabi. One shot was even posted on Instagram with a group of local women dressed in similar traditional all-black attire in the background with the caption “b***h stole my look”. 

In the past she has been praised for using hijabi women in her make-up campaigns, and she’s always been a vocal advocate for diversity be it cultural, racial, sexual or physical. However, this time she appears to have really missed the mark. Rihanna is yet to comment on the blunder, so it’s currently unclear how she feels about the backlash. It is worth mentioning, though, that this is actually the second time she has used the song in one of her shows; it also featured in Fenty X Puma show in September 2017.

Others have been quick to speak out, however, with one writing: “I can’t let Rihanna have a pass with appropriating Islam, like for her first show the models wore a scarf around their heads and it looked like HIJAB and her second show she used a track that remixed a HADITH… Why is no one talking about this? My religion is not y’alls aesthetic.”

They added: “Like I LOVE IT when y’all appreciate Islam and use Arabic words but I am not okay with it being appropriated and belittled for things like this. The last thing y’all should be doing is remixing verses of the Qur’an for your music like wtf it’s absolutely disrespectful.”



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John Boyega | John Boyega compares They Cloned Tyrone to Attack the Block

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John Boyega has likened ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ to ‘Attack the Block’.

The 28-year-old actor is starring in Juel Taylor’s Netflix sci-fi movie with Jamie Foxx and Teyonah Parris and has compared the movie to Joe Cornish‘s 2011 alien flick, in which he made his feature film debut.

John told ComingSoon.net: “The film is going to be like ‘Attack the Block’ for stateside, I’ll give you that.

“Juel’s making his directorial debut with the movie and he wrote a brilliant script. I mean, you don’t just attract Jamie Foxx with nothing, this is a really well-written one that I think is going to be a lot of fun.”

Boyega went on to land a role in the ‘Star Wars’ sequel trilogy after featuring in ‘Attack the Block’ and Cornish revealed last year that the pair had discussed a potential sequel with the star.

The 51-year-old director said: “We’ve got ideas.

“I met with John a couple of months ago to talk about it. We’ve always had ideas after the first one. But obviously we’ve both been busy doing different things.”

‘Attack the Block’ was celebrated earlier this year after John’s passionate anti-racism speech at a protest in London and Joe feels that it “wonderful” that people are re-watching it.

Discussing the project having a leading black actor and being set in a London tower block, he said: “The movie’s nearly 10 years old now, and it’s trying to address issues that were fairly ingrained then, and have certainly stuck around.

“At the time when it came out, it put a lot of people’s backs up, because it has a very unusual protagonist and arc.

“It’s wonderful that people are revisiting the film.”



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Bob Gale | Bob Gale rejects Back to the Future 4

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Bob Gale has ruled out a fourth ‘Back to the Future’ film.

The 69-year-old screenwriter co-wrote the 1985 sci-fi comedy flick and two sequels with Robert Zemeckis but suggests star Michael J. Fox’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease means they would be unable to make another movie that is faithful to the originals.

Bob explained: “We told a complete story with the trilogy.

“If we went back and made another one, we’d have Michael J. Fox, who will be 60 next year, and he has Parkinson’s Disease. Do we want to see Marty McFly at age 60 with Parkinson’s Disease? Did we want to see him at age 50 with Parkinson’s Disease? I would say ‘No, you don’t want to see that.’ “

Gale – who produced all three ‘Back to the Future’ flicks – feels that it would be impossible to replace Michael as Marty McFly so would never want to tell a story that didn’t include the star.

He said: “People say, ‘Well, do it with somebody else.’ Really? Who are you going to get? All you’re gonna do is beg comparisons to the originals, and you’re not going to match up.”

Bob added that he doesn’t want to repeat the decisions of other film series such as ‘Star Wars’ by revisiting ‘Back to the Future’.

He told Collider: “We’ve seen this repeatedly with sequels that go back to the well after many, many years, and they go, ‘Ah, well, ‘The Phantom Menace’, maybe my life would have been better if I hadn’t seen it.’ There are a lot of extra sequels like that.”

Gale also explained that he and Robert have an agreement with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment which requires their blessing before another ‘Back to the Future’ film can be made.

He remarked: “We have an understanding with Spielberg and Amblin that there would never be another ‘Back to the Future’ movie without our blessing being involved. So it’s not going to happen.”



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Naomi Campbell | Naomi Campbell writing autobiography

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Naomi Campbell is writing her autobiography.

The 50-year-old supermodel had been contemplating writing a memoir for some time but wasn’t unsure how to start, until she received some guidance from music producer Clarence Avant.

She told America’s Vogue magazine: “I had this old-school way of looking at it as having to put pen to paper.

“But I had a lovely lunch last year with Clarence Avant. I asked him, ‘Clarence, How do you do it? How do you start writing?’ And he told me, ‘Just start from anywhere. Don’t start from the beginning.’ So it is going to happen!”

Naomi is also keen to act more, depending on who approaches her for jobs and what the role entails she will always say yes to her friend and ‘Empire’ showrunner Lee Daniels.

She said: “I mean, if it feels like something that is right, and if I fit it as a 50-year-old woman, then sign me up!”

The fashion icon is very excited about the upcoming Apple TV+ docuseries ‘The Supermodels’ – which will explore the impact she, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford had on culture in the 1990s – and revealed they had turned down a number of offers over the years until the right approach came along.

She said: “It was really worth holding out. If we are going to do something, we are going to be involved in it throughout the whole process, from beginning to end. Linda, Christy, and Cindy, these are my sisters. The four of us tell it. I wasn’t going to do it any other way.”



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