As the world is progressing, the borders separating cultures is diminishing. Over the years, we have seen Hollywood celebs take inspiration and talk about Indian Goddesses like Goddess Kaali and Goddess Durga. While they almost always do it with respect and love, there have been instances where they irked the global audiences.
From Cardi B imitating Goddess Durga for the photoshoot of her sneaker collection to Heidi Klum and DJ Carly O dressing up as Goddess Kaali on Halloween, take a look at the many times Hollywood celebs hurt the religious sentiments of Indians across the globe and gave rise to controversies.
— India in Pictures (@indiainpix) October 31, 2017
In 2008, supermodel Heidi Klum was in the bad books of Indians across the globe because she dressed as Goddess Kaali for a Halloween party. This made headlines around the world and was considered one of the biggest controversies of 2008. Hindu leaders in America felt that Heidi needed to make a public apology for dressing up and posing as a sacred figure for a mere party.
In 2017, singer Katy Perry took to her Instagram account and shared an image of Goddess Kaali slaying a demon. Given her love for India and its culture, this wouldn’t have earned her backlash had it not been for the caption she posted alongside it. While sharing the image of the Goddess in her fierce avatar, Katy wrote “Current Mood.” Her Indian fans slammed her for using the diety’s picture in such a manner, with some even calling it discourteous.
DJ Carly O
South African DJ Carly O is a self-confessed follower of Goddess Kaali and decided to dress up as the deity for Halloween in 2018. Sharing the images on her Instagram handles, Carly wrote, “Kali O – I needed something to draw strength from after the past few days, my favourite goddess,” Her getup hurt the religious sentiments of many and some even commented, “My religion is not your Halloween costume.”
So Cardi B is apparently paying homage to Goddess Durga. And what I don't understand that they are okay with this.
Cardi B Do you know who Durga Maa is and her aesthetic and importance in Hinduism?
This is so disrespectful.
Cardi B is a powerful women. No denying in that. pic.twitter.com/VgMW3sWOik
— Nicki's Kingdom🦄🦄 (@Ujji11105494) November 11, 2020
In November 2020, Cardi B faced the irk of the public when she posed as Goddess Durga with a sneaker from her Addidas collection in her hands. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Footwear News has shared the pic with the caption, “In a @GeorgesHobeika dress, she pays homage to Durga, the Hindu goddess, whose symbols of protection and inner strength resonate as much in modern times as they have through the centuries. Like Durga, Cardi B is a dominant female voice at a critical time.”
Addressing the backlash and apologizing for the same, Following this uproar, Cardi posted a series of videos, and in one of them, she is heard saying, “Sorry guys. I didn’t mean to offend anybody’s culture. I can’t change the passed but I’ll be more cautious for the future, love you guys.”
In 2004, Tina Turner, along with director Ismail Merchant visited temples in Kerela, India. While there, the duo looked at and researched the many Indian deities before she took on the role to play Goddess Kaali in the Merchant-Ivory production, The Goddess. But unfortunately, the project never saw the light of day, as Indian across the globe weren’t happy as they felt she wasn’t suitable to play an Indian Goddess. Indian fans in Britain said that they would boycott cinema halls where this film would premiere.
Are you offended by these Hollywood stars dressing up as Indian Goddesses? Let us know in the comments below.