Coldplay & Beyoncé's 'Hymn for the Weekend' Sparks Debate About Cultural Appropriation

Courtesy Photo
Coldplay's video for "Hymn For The Weekend."

Coldplay's new "Hymn for the Weekend" video featuring Beyoncé that was released on Friday (Jan. 29) is catching some heat over its Indian inspiration, with some online calling the Mumbai-shot clip a work of appropriation while others defend it as an appreciation of the foreign culture. 

Beyonce and Sonam Kapoor Join Coldplay in 'Hymn For the Weekend' Video

Detractors took aim at both Coldplay and Beyoncé alike but in different ways. While Beyoncé's appearance dressed up as a Bollywood star initially garnered awe, a backlash followed:

 

Meanwhile others supported Bey's wardrobe choices:

 

Others recalled Iggy Azalea's "Bounce" video, which garnered some unwanted attention over similar calls of appropriation:

 

And some pointed out this isn't the first time Coldplay has used (or misused?) Asian culture in its videos, noting the band's Rihanna-featuring "Princess of China" video:


For better or worse, it is a Coldplay music video (Beyoncé didn't even actually travel for it), so a large amount of blame was put on the British rock band. Although some did note that Chris Martin and Co. did actually fly to India and "immerse themselves" in the culture, hiring an Indian director, cast and crew for the project.