Singer Adele's new Instagram post sparked a new debate on cultural appropriation Sunday night. The "Set Fire to the Rain" singer shared a photo of herself wearing a Jamaican flag bikini and a yellow feather boa, and her hair was done in Bantu knots. Adele shared the post to let fans know she was disappointed that this year's Notting Hill Carnival will be held virtually this year. The annual event is a celebration of Black British culture but was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London," Adele wrote in the caption. There were many positive comments on the Instagram post, including some from celebrities. "You look right at home guurrrl," actress Zoe Saldana wrote. "You just broke that internet Henny," Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Rinna chimed in. Others did not find the photo offensive, pointing out what the Notting Hill Carnival represents.
The Notting Hill Carnival has been held in London since 1966 and is usually held over two days in August. Although the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to hold the event in the Notting Hill area, executive director Matthew Phillip recently told The Guardian it was still important to hold it, especially with the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement inspiring protests in London. "Yes, we say Black Lives Matter, but it's about promoting unity and inclusion," Phillip explained. "That's why it was set up in the first place, to bring different communities together from different backgrounds as well as celebrating our heritage, which dates back to slavery."
If 2020 couldn't get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for.
This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic.
Hate to see it. pic.twitter.com/N9CqPqh7GX— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 30, 2020
The virtual event included pre-taped performances, interviews with mas groups, and online guides for making Caribbean food at home. Performances by soul singer Omar Lye-Fook, Jamaican singer Koffee, and Nigerian afrobeat stars Davido and Tira Savage were streamed online over three days. "In a year when people have been protesting against the treatment of black people I think this is a good way of showing that we have something to contribute, something that is positive," Lye-Fook told The Guardian.prevnext
It’s Nottinghill Carnival Weekend.— Ashley Theophane (@AshleyTheophane) August 31, 2020
Find out about other people’s cultures and celebrations then you’d understand why shes wearing this.
It’s in celebration of Caribbean culture. Sit this one out @jemelehill ✌🏽
Poppycock! This humbug totally misses the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival and the tradition of “ dress up” or “ masquerade” Adele was born and raised in Tottenham she gets it more than most. Thank you Adele. Forget the Haters. https://t.co/sabpPPRtID— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) August 31, 2020