Blake Lively is facing some backlash for what may seem like an innocent Instagram caption. The New York Daily News reports that the actress took some heat for a captioning one of her Cannes photos with “LA Face and Oakland booty.”
Those words are actually a quote from “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot. But some people found that the caption was offensive because it seemed as if Blake Lively, a white woman, was making a mockery of black women’s bodies.
Another day, another rich white woman using WOC’s bodies as a punchline and commodity. As if Blake Lively wasn’t the worst already.
— Kat Bee (@katbeee) May 18, 2016
I want to follow Blake Lively just to unfollow after this LA/Oakland business. So much privilege even GOOP feels uncomfortable.
— Melinda (@mindamaureen) May 18, 2016
— Privilege Means (@PrivilegeMeans) May 18, 2016
This is a reminder that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married on a plantation where slave cabins still stand. pic.twitter.com/9rbKXH2WDc
— Melissa Radzimski (@melissaradz) May 18, 2016
Despite all of the negative feedback, Blake Lively got some support in the comments of the photo.
“Only racist thing here is the people who are automatically assuming she is talking about a certain ethnic group by saying ‘Oakland booty’ which is also in a song,” markturner08 wrote.
As Huffington Post reports, Sir Mix a Lot has spoken about why he came up with the hit song: it’s a celebration of black women’s bodies.
“The black, female body was not accepted as the norm anywhere,” he said on the Huffington Post Entertainment‘s podcast. “For years, all you saw on television was overweight black maids or black women who would assimilate to white culture, as far as the look is concerned.”
The song opened the door for even more “booty” focused hits by Sisqo and Trina. Trina’s song “Pull Over,” tells the story from a female point of view.
“When I did the song, I wasn’t trying to speak for women. Because I knew black women were proud of what they had. When women, like Trina stepped to the forefront, you’ll notice I curtailed my message,” Sir Mix-A-Lot said. “I didn’t have to speak anymore because the actual, African-American queens were speaking for themselves. Coming from a woman, it was far more powerful than coming from me. Coming from me, it can be confused as sexist. Coming from a woman you know it was real.”
Blake Lively was in Cannes to promote Cafe Society directed by Woody Allen, Huffington Post reports. Before her Instagram caption started getting attention, she was getting press for defending the controversial movie director. In the past, Woody Allen has been accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was seven.
Recently, Dylan Farrow’s brother, Ronan Farrow, wrote an essay in The Hollywood Reporter calling out Blake Lively and her co-star Kristen Stewart for starring in Cafe Society and supporting Allen. In the essay, Farrow insists that silence from celebrities like Stewart and Lively hurts the victims of sexual abuse.
“It sends a message to victims that it’s not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we’ll overlook, who we’ll ignore, who matters and who doesn’t.” Farrow wrote. “Amazon paid millions to work with Woody Allen, bankrolling a new series and film. “Actors, including some I admire greatly, continue to line up to star in his movies.”
But Blake Lively defended Woody Allen while at Cannes, Refinery29 reports.
“My experience with Woody Allen is that he’s empowering to women,” she said during an interview. She also said that Allen writes “amazing” parts for women and that she hadn’t read Ronan Farrow’s essay in The Hollywood Reporter.
[Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]