M.I.A says new music video censored because of 'cultural appropriation'

The 'Paper Planes' singer said she's been told she can't release a video 'because it's shot in Africa'

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The Independent Culture

M.I.A. is no stranger to controversy – she flipped off the entire world at the 2012 Super Bowl and released a music video that featured the genocide of people with ginger hair.

According to the singer, her record company are having no more of it, apparently pulling her new music video for “cultural appropriation.”

The 'Paper-Planes' singer took to Twitter to vent her frustration, Tweeting “I wanna talk about cultural appropriation. I’ve been told I can’t put out a video because it’s shot in Africa.

“What happens when I shoot videos in America or Germany it makes no sense to the 00.01% of artists like me.”

M.I.A., real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, who is of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage, went on to give limited details of what the video actually entailed but did say it would feature one long shot of an Ivory Coast dancer who took "2 years to track down".

She then offered the video to any “African artist to come through this year”.

While unclear who is to blame for the music video’s non-release, it comes after an increasing number of popstars have had their videos criticised for similar reasons.

In 2013, Lily Allen was forced to defend her video for “Hard Out Here” after critics described her use of twerking black backing dancers as racist. Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” also came under fire for “perpetuating black stereotypes” by Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt.

In 2014, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” music video was the subject of extreme criticism for featuring a man wearing an “Allah” pendant. The object was later edited out after a petition for it to be removed reached 65,000 signatures.

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