Cardi B apologises for disrespecting Hindu Goddess Durga

MPHO RANTAO

NEW York rapper Cardi B has apologised for offending millions of Hindus across the world by making use of the image of a Goddess Durga in a recent photoshoot.

In the offensive image, Cardi B is depicted as the Hindi Goddess Durga, posing with some footwear from her new ‘Club C’ collection with Reebok, set to be released on November 13.

The cover by Footwear News. Picture: Instagram/footwearnews

The ‘Bodak Yellow’ singer took part in the shoot for her cover spread for Footwear News, where she spoke about her latest collaboration, her life under lockdown and her music. 

Upon the release of Footwear News’ December cover on Instagram, Hindus on social media blasted the rapper for disrespecting and appropriating the religious Goddess, with some users accusing the Cardi B of mocking the culture and religion.

Some argued that the depiction was not paying any homage to the Hindu culture and instead was just disrespectful, adding that the singer had never appreciated the Hindu culture before. 

The rapper was quick to apologise for her error, once she caught wind of the criticisms, uploading a video on Instagram of her apology.

“When I did the Reebok shoot, the creatives were telling me, ‘You’re going to represent a goddess,’ that she represents strength, femininity, and liberation,” Cardi explained. “That’s something that I love and that I’m all about and I thought that it was dope.”

“But if people think I’m offending [their] culture or their religion, I want to say I’m sorry,” she went on. “That was not my intent, I do not like disrespecting nobody’s religion.”

Picture: Instagram/cardib

She also added that she understood the anger of the Hindu community as she would not like it if disrespected her Christian religion. “When people dress as the Virgin Mary and Jesus, as long as [they’re] doing it in a beautiful, graceful way and respectful way, I don’t feel a certain type of way and I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful.”

“Maybe I should’ve done my research and I’m sorry,” Cardi finished. “I can’t change the past but I’m gonna do more research for the future.”

However, as Cardi apologised, she also spoke about social media users who used the incident to insult her with derogatory misogynistic terms, calling them out for insulting her instead of pointing out her errors and pushing her to educate herself further on other religions. 

“I do respect your opinion and I do respect your feelings, so I apologise for it,” she said. “I do gotta do my research. I’m sorry guys. I think people want us to know every word or every religion or everything, and sometimes we just don’t know. But it’s good to learn so I won’t do it again.”

“But while ya teaching me a lesson, and while ya telling me what to do, don’t disrespect me neither,” she continued. “Don’t call me a b—h, don’t call me a w—e, don’t call me a s–t, don’t go saying that I’m a terrible person.”

Responding to the backlash from their photoshoot, Footwear News changed the cover image of the interview with Cardi B, removing the picture and apologising for the oversight. 

“One of the images was intended to pay homage to Hindu Goddess Durga, and our intent was to show a powerful woman,” Footwear News said in an Instagram caption. “However, we realize we were not considerate of certain cultural and religious perspectives and how this could be perceived as deeply offensive.”

“We take full accountability for this oversight and we apologize,” the statement continued. “It is important we learn from this example and are sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future”.