Suddenly Bruno Mars is being called out for cultural appropriation by an activist, cultural critic, and writer Seren Sensei who says the singer plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres.
Mars’ mother is Filipino, and his father is half Ashkenazi Jewish and half Puerto Rican.
Here’s the video of Sensei lambasting the singer for cultural appropriation.
“Bruno Mars is 100 percent a cultural appropriator,” she said. “He is not black, at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres.”
“What Bruno Mars does, is he takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it,” she argued, that he makes music that would fit into R&B, funk, soul, and hip-hop.
“Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy, and Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy,” she continued. “The issue is we want our black culture from non-black bodies.”
Although many understood Sensei point of view others on Twitter also disagreed.
“Except Bruno Mars credits the originators, which is a core issue with cultural appropriation. He’s not taking black culture away from black people a la Elvis Presley, he’s performing in that space while contributing to and crediting the black community. It’s not the same thing,” tweeted one user.
“When I think of cultural appropriators, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake & Iggy Azalea come to mind, not Bruno Mars,” wrote another.
And it seems the bottom line for many people was that Mars makes some great sounding music.
“It’s okay to acknowledge that Bruno Mars’ racial ambiguity allows him to capitalize on white Americas desire to enjoy black art without embracing black people. And still like his music,” tweeted @llcapitano94.