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M.I.A. Says She "Can’t Put Out A Video Because It’s Shot In Africa"

M.I.A. says she's being prevented from putting out her new Côte d'Ivoire dance video because of "cultural appropriation."


On Monday, M.I.A. took to Twitter to voice her thoughts on "cultural appropriation" and open the floor for discussion. "I wanna talk about cultural appropriation!," she wrote. "I've been told I can't put out a video because it's shot in Africa." The 39-year-old artist, born in London of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage, then asked, "What happens when I shoot videos in America or Germany it makes no sense to the 00.01% of artists like me."

According to M.I.A., the video in question is a one-take shot of a male dancer in Côte d'Ivoire, who she says she spent two years locating. "The video is 1 take shot of a dancer ! The best in the wide world! And he wasn't ever gonna make "_____got talent," she said.

"If the music industry allows an African artist to come through this year on intnl level, I would gladly give him this video for free," the singer added.

It's certainly tough to weigh in without having actually seen the video. We wonder if what's actually being discussed is the creative control and agency of the Ivorian artist whose work is being distributed.

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(Photo by Christian Marquardt - Pool/Getty Images)

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