Rihanna has been involved in a storm in India ever since she extended support to protesting ‘farmers’, spearheaded by Khalistanis, who indulged in rampant violence on the 26th of January, leaving over 400 policemen injured. It was revealed that the tweet by Rihanna was pre-planned when baby-protestor Greta Thunberg tweeted a ‘toolkit’ that detailed the nefarious plan to foment trouble in India. Now, Rihanna has been caught in another row, involving her beauty and lingerie company Fenty and a promotional photoshoot insulting a Hindu temple.
On the 3rd of February, Jhardan Reign, a model from the United States of America tweeted a set of photos on Instagram. The photos appeared to be a promotional shoot for Fenty, the company owned by Rihanna.
The photos were uploaded with the hashtags #savagexfenty, #savagexgirl and the model tagged @savagexfenty, the official handle of Rihanna’s beauty company.
This picture would have essentially not inspired a reaction from anyone in India, except that a temple can distinctly be seen in the background. From. the photos, it appears as though the photographs were taken in the premises of a Hindu temple, or at least, in the vicinity where the temple was deliberately shown in the picture.
After substantial outrage on Instagram, the post by the model was deleted. However, the same images are still available on her Twitter handle.
In her Instagram post, Reign had also mentioned that the photographer is one ‘Cristellin‘. When we looked her up on Twitter, sure enough, she had retweeted the post by Reign that plugged the pictures.
The photograph that seems to be taken in the premises of a Hindu Temple or at least, The Hindu Temple was shown in the photo with a semi-clad ‘cupid’, invited the ire of several Hindu netizens.
One handle said that earlier, Rihanna had appropriated the Muslim Hadith and this time, she has insulted a Hindu Temple. She claimed that minorities expected better from her.
Last year, SavageXFenty appropriated the Islamic Hadith. This year, the brand did a disrespectful, half-naked photoshoot outside a Hindu temple. @Rihanna minorities expect better from you.— Hindusamata (@hindusamata) February 11, 2021
Another user asked “why are we not talking about this”, interestingly, the same phrase Rihanna used while extending her support to the attempted insurrection in India.
It is pertinent to note that these images were not shared by Rihanna, or her company Fenty on the beauty page of Instagram or from the Lingerie page. If it was, it has been deleted by now and we could not find one.
The model who posted these pictures tagged ‘Savage X Fenty’, which is the Instagram page of Rihanna Fenty lingerie line.
It is entirely possible that the photoshoot was not exactly sanctioned by Rihanna. Often, companies send products for promotion to influencers on social media and they are supposed to use those products, promote it on Instagram and while doing so, tag the company concerned. For this, they are paid by the brand in some cases where contracts exist.
It is therefore possible that the photoshoot itself was not sanctioned by Rihanna, however, given the bottled up anger against her and the insult of The Hindu temples, questions are now being asked from Rihanna. One could reason that since it is indeed a Fenty promotion, the content of that promotion and its responsibility thereof should also lie on the shoulders of Rihanna.
Rihanna had apologised to Muslims for insulting their faith in 2020
In 2020, Rihanna had apologised to Muslim community for using Islamic verses during a lingerie fashion show. She had released a new lingerie collection Savage X Fenty. The show came under heavy criticism for using sacred Islamic verses commonly known as Hadiths. Coucou Chloe produced the track named “Doom” that used the text.
The show was streamed on Amazon Prime. It used a song produced by Coucou Chloe in 2017 that used a remix of a Hadith narration about the end of times and judgment day. It is believed that the Hadith is a written record of the sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammad and his close associated. These texts are considered to be highly sacred to Muslims and often regarded as secondary only to the Quran in terms of authority.
After rampant backlash from the Muslim community, Rihanna had apologised for her action.
After the backlash, a spokesperson for Coucou Chloe too issued an online apology on twitter. She took full responsibility for the fact that she did not research the meaning of the text. She apologized for using the sacred text in the song ‘DOOM.’ “The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith,” She added.