(Writer’s note: Video of Bruno Mars performance at the 2017 BET Awards can be found below.)
Thousands of Bruno Mars fans came to the defense of the multiple 2017 BET Award nominee on Twitter on Sunday when a fellow user blasted the musician on his alleged appropriation of African-American culture.
The social media user, Jenn M. Jackson, caused an uproar throughout the populous app just hours before Mars was set to take the stage as the annual BET telecast that celebrates popular entertainment media and artistry of all creeds and backgrounds, as the San Francisco Gate reports.
On Sunday, Jackson took to her Twitter profile and said, in no uncertain terms, that the multi-racial Bruno has no place at the BET Awards because he’s “not black.”
“I really need y’all to stop with this Bruno Mars praise and be more critical about the ways we understand [cultural] appropriation,” Jackson, a self-professed doctoral student and writer of the Washington Post and an organization called B***h Media, said prior to the start of the BET Awards on Twitter that afternoon.
Jackson went on to note that Mars, born in 1985 as Peter Gene Hernandez in Hawaii to a half-Latin, half-Jewish father and a mother of Filipino descent, as a 2012 Huffington Post article provides and the reported opening act of the 2017 pop culture celebration and awards ceremony on BET, is guilty of using the funk genre — a style of music popularized by artists like the late Rick James (“Super Freak”) and Prince — solely for money.
“[Bruno Mars] is a non-black person of color (POC) who has recently decided that singing funk music is economically productive,” Jackson continued in her Twitter rant.
“These claims that Bruno Mars is ‘bringing funk back’ [erase the legacies of] black funk artists who pioneered the tradition. Funk never left. Funk was a black thing and now, white people [think they own it, too]. That’s [cultural] appropriation.”
Be that as it may, once Mars’ fans caught wind of Jackson’s Twitter statement about Bruno’s alleged appropriation of music genres crafted by black artists, her college degree and professional standing did little to protect Jackson’s Twitter mentions from blowing up with opposing comments from Bruno’s fans.
He is a non-Black person of color (POC) who has recently decided that singing Funk music is economically productive.
— Jenn M. Jackson (@JennMJack) June 25, 2017
“Jenn M. Jackson, this whole thread is false,” one user, @hypebruno, fired back to the Bruno-bashing Jackson.
“Are we really going to blame Bruno [of appropriation] because [of] his [wide] audience demographic? He just wants to make music,” they continued.
“[Bruno has] stated [before] that he’d be nothing without black artists. He’s appreciating [their artistry], not appropriating it,” hypebruno offered.
The fan of Mars’ music then went one step further and named Bruno as being, “a woke legend [who] understands black [music]” is “American music.”
“[Go] find another artist to fit your agenda,” hypebruno said to Jackson, in closing.
The interaction between the music lovers caused Bruno Mars’ name to trend throughout Sunday afternoon with fans of both sides of the argument — although most appeared to be for the BET Awards performer than against him — going back and forth on the matter for several hours.
Check out video of Bruno Mars’ opening number from Sunday night’s BET Awards ’17 below. Check your local listings for repeat showtimes of the full ceremony.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]