The 2017 remix of the song, “Doom” from English producer Coucou Chloe, played in the background while models strutted their stuff — and was included on the Savage x Fenty Volume 2 playlist on Amazon — and it includes a hadith narration about the end of the world and judgement day.
The hadith is the written record of the Prophet Mohammed’s sayings and actions and it is considered very sacred to Muslims, second only to the Quran. After social media backlash poured in on Monday (Oct. 5), Rihanna responded in an Instagram Story, writing, “I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x fenty show.”
She continued, “I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding.”
A spokesperson for Rihanna referred to the singer’s statement and forwarded an additional comment from a spokesperson for Savage x Fenty. “We truly apologize for the song that appeared in the Savage x Fenty show. We shouldn’t have used it,” read the statement. “The song’s vocal tracks are being replaced and the show is being edited. We have nothing but the utmost respect and love for the Muslim community. All Fenty brands have been founded on the notion of inclusivity and respect to all, and this was an unfortunate mistake on our part. We will be vigilant going forward to ensure this is never repeated.”
Speaking before the show – which featured appearances from Lizzo, Travis Scott, Rosalia and some of the biggest names in modeling — aired on Amazon Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories, Rihanna told the Associated Press that the goal of the event was to shine a ray of light during a dark time. “People need a little bit of hope, they need a little bit of happiness, and if we can bring a smile to their face and a little bit of fun while they’re stuck at home, it’s a desire and an honor to be a part of that,” she said.
See Rihanna’s reaction and some of the backlash below.
Rihanna is messed up for using a song with a Hadith in it to play at her LINGERIE show. What is up with artists using Islam as an aesthetic?? Have some respect.
— neli (@nelirv_) October 4, 2020
there’s really no way we can let this slide like a straight up HADITH???? rihanna baby you screwed up HARD https://t.co/gxUOvtHGn5
— noura (closed) (@tetegoodboyy) October 4, 2020
i can’t let Rihanna have a pass w appropriating Islam like for her first show the models wore a scarf around their heads and it looked like HIJAB and her second show she used a track that remixed a HADITH….why is no one talking about this, my religion is not y’all’s aesthetic
— . (@reversecocunut) October 4, 2020