Prince Williams / Contributor, Getty Images
Cardi B would like to apologize for culturally appropriating the Hindu goddess Durga in a recent photoshoot for Footwear News. The "WAP" rapper was styled up in different looks to promote her new line with Reebok, with one of those looks being a portrayal of Durga who, as Cardi B was made to understand, represents "strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something I love and I’m all about."
But when the image went live, Cardi began receiving backlash with fans explaining to her that she disrespected Hindu culture by embodying Durga. "Sorry guys. I didn't mean to offend or disrespect anybody's culture," she captioned an apology video posted to her Instagram Story on November 10th. "I can't change the [past] but I'll be more cautious in the future."
"And though it was dope, if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say I’m sorry," Cardi said in the video. "That was not my intent. I do not like disrespecting nobody’s religion. I wouldn’t like people to offend my religion."
Footwear News also took to Instagram to issue an apology for the photograph, having removed the image from all of their social platforms.
"Yesterday we posted content from our exclusive Cardi B cover shoot. One of the images was intended to pay homage to Hindu goddess Durga, and our intent was to show a powerful woman," the caption of a November 10th Instagram begins.
"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 publication said that they have learned from this mistake and will take extra precaution to be "sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future." The decided to publish the issue with another cover image from the shoot.
Similarly, Cardi B said in her video that though she meant no disrespect and trusted the creative team, "maybe I should have done my research," adding "I will do more research for the future."
It seems like the issue could have and should have been stopped at multiple checkpoints throughout the process. Yet, here we are again, wondering why this "aesthetic" choice wasn't stopped at the brainstorming phase.