Madonna Wears Moroccan Attire During Cringe-Worthy Aretha Franklin Tribute at VMAs—Gets Dragged
"Madonna REALLY went out there in her best cultural appropriation outfit to talk about Queen Aretha Franklin?"
UPDATE 08/21/18: Madonna has released a statement explaining her highly-scrutinized speech at the VMAs. Read it below. " I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show,"she wrote on Instagram. "I could never do her justice in this context or environment."
Read her full statement below.
Continue for the full story:
The MTV Video Music Awards went down last night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
As usual, it was a night of fashion, performances, celebrity appearances, overall bizarre happenings, and of course, candid social media reactions to all of those things.
One moment that had folks typing away, was pop megastar Madonna's "tribute" to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Except it wasn't really a tribute to the Queen of Soul.
During her speech, she told a long-winded story about how the late soul icon had basically made her career what it is today, while wearing traditional Moroccan clothing, including a flowing black caftan and a heap of Berber jewelry, which she most likely picked up during her 60th birthday celebration in Morocco last week. She took to Instagram to document the festivities, even referring to herself as a "Berber Queen," despite not actually being a Berber Queen at all.
Her superficial consumption of Moroccan culture, wasn't the only cringe-worthy or even self-centered thing about her appearance either. For many, it seemed like Madonna made a tribute that was supposed to be about Aretha Franklin, all about herself, only really mentioning Franklin towards the very end of the speech.
"So you're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story," Madonna said. "There's a connection, because none of this would've happened—could've happened—without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight, and I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen."
Ironically enough, to many, Madonna's display showed a complete lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Twitter was not having it and gave Madonna a proper "dragging" for her antics.
Read below to see some of what folks had to say about it.
Aretha Franklin's Tribute at the #VMAs: 1. Madonna talks about herself, at length, with Aretha as a footnote. 2. "R… https://t.co/Scjlmkzk4t— Nia Langley✨ (@Nia Langley✨) 1534823222.0
Madonna made Aretha Franklin's death about herself and her own musical journey, and honestly, this is some of the w… https://t.co/kY98JhNnsk— Evette Dionne 🤷🏾♀️ (@Evette Dionne 🤷🏾♀️) 1534822005.0
Madonna REALLY went out there in her best cultural appropriation outfit to talk about Queen Aretha Franklin? IS T… https://t.co/8TvuTWbV2U— Britni Danielle (@Britni Danielle) 1534821874.0
Did Madonna make her Aretha Tribute about Madonna with a sprinkle of Aretha's name in it??— Jamal Crawford (@Jamal Crawford) 1534832873.0
Madonna did the tribute speech for Aretha Franklin. Madonna did the tribute performance for Prince. Madonna did the… https://t.co/wD4fqnsYez— LEFT⚫️ (@LEFT⚫️) 1534835281.0
Aretha watching Madonna’s tribute to her from heaven .... https://t.co/fuMkCCf1AT— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill) 1534833000.0
Travis Scott gave a better Aretha Franklin Tribute than Madonna and All he said was RIP Aretha Franklin. #VMAs— Trey Lawrence (@Trey Lawrence) 1534823008.0
A herd of Madonna is called an appropriation.— Ol’ QWERTY Bastard (@Ol’ QWERTY Bastard) 1534826569.0
Good morning... to everybody, except Madonna and whoever the Viacom @VH1 executive who approved her appearance last… https://t.co/tbzu5BRxJv— G O L D I E. (@G O L D I E.) 1534848556.0
"If it wasn't for Aretha, we wouldn't have Madonna"- Madonna— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi) 1534822260.0