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Twitter disappointed by Sara Ali Khan’s ‘tone deaf, racist’ shoot with Kenyan tribesman: Thought she was different

Sara Ali Khan shot for her first ever magazine cover with the men of Kenya’s Masai tribe. The pictures have been called out as tone deaf.

bollywood Updated: Feb 27, 2019 14:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sara Ali Khan,Sara Ali Khan Controversy,Sara Ali Khan Filmfare Cover
Sara Ali Khan’s latest photoshoot with Masai tribesmen has invited controversy.

Actor Sara Ali Khan’s magazine cover debut has not been the most ideal. Sara is the face of Filmfare’s March issue and she shared the magazine’s cover on Tuesday. The pictures for the cover story were shot in Kenya with a few Masai tribesmen and women. However, those pictures have not gone down well with the internet.

Several Twitter users have expressed disappointment at the ‘tone deaf’ and ‘racist’ photoshoot for using a tribe as a prop for her pictures. “She really got a whole a** human being behind her like a Jojos Bizarre Adventure stand,” wrote one Twitter user. “Shame. I actually liked Sara Ali Khan, I thought she was different from these Bollywood clowns ,” wrote another.

Most called out the magazine for digitally editing the pic and adding the man behind her. However, the Masai tribesmen are known for their ability to jump straight up. The man’s shadow is hid behind Sara and therefore it appears as if he has no shadow and is Photoshopped into the picture.

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Others also defended Sara from the Twitter storm. “I can’t believe ppl are really saying that #SaraAliKhan ‘s photoshoot is cultural appropriation and racist but she is not wearing anything related to black culture so HOW IT IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION?? the photoshoot was in Kenya n d black ppls r wearing those outfits NOT SARA,” wrote a fan.

However, cultural appropriation doesn’t only include wearing a minority community’s traditional outfits or altering your appearance superficially to look like them (such as the blackface or squinting one’s eyes). It also includes using an entire community’s culture as props to one’s advantage. “Hey. Simply put - you cannot use people of a country as props. They can contribute to the narrative and be a part of the shoot, but not just be stoic spectators that elevate the “model”. That’s really whack,” a comment read.

Here are more reactions to the pictures:

Sara Ali Khan earned kudos from the entire country with her appearance on Koffee With Karan earlier this year. Her refreshing acknowledgement of the persistent problem of nepotism in the Hindi film industry won her a lot of fans.

Sara made her debut with Kedarnath last year opposite Sushant Singh Rajput. The film did moderate business at the box office. Her second film was Rohit Shetty’s Simmba with Ranveer Singh in the lead role. The film made more than Rs 350 crore and broke several box office records.

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First Published: Feb 27, 2019 14:00 IST