Casablanca- Have you watched the music video by Colombian diva Shakira for her new single, “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” which features Barbados superstar Rihanna? Well, in some countries of the Middle East and Colombia, many have watched the video, and the overall reactions have not been very positive.
Two of the world’s most celebrated music stars, Shakira and Rihanna, got intimate in the music video. The two share a bed, touch, and “get sexy” in the video while reminiscently singing, “The only memory is us kissing in the moonlight.”
While millions have viewed the YouTube video, not everyone seems to be charmed by their “arousing” video, especially those from the eastern hemisphere. Many Arab fans and music industry professionals criticized the video—some even described it as “promoting lesbianism.”
“It’s a lesbianist music video, it’s really over [the top],” Fadi Haddad, a Lebanese music video director was quoted by Al Arabiya News as saying.
While many Arabs have found fault with the sexual dimension of the video, others found it more constructive to criticize its creative significance. The general idea is that music videos like Shakira’s further victimize women’s bodies, rendering them sexual tools of entertainment and commercial benefit.
Quoted by Al Arabiya News, Nabil Alalawi, CEO of Qithara production, an art production and advertising company, said that, “stars around the world have to search for a new concept” without abandoning focus on social matters because, “it kills creativity.”
Knowing that her paternal grandparents immigrated from Lebanon to New York, many fans wonder whether Shakira’s Arab origins are the reason behind the outrage. Perhaps it is due to the fact that Shakira has made it clear in her interviews that her cultural identity is, “a fusion of the western and the eastern.”
However, some voices in the Arab world expressed different opinions on the video. “I do not think that it is promoting lesbianism,” Lynn Darwich, the Lebanon-based coordinator of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, said to Al Arabiya News.
“It is catering to a male audience, which would presumably appreciate eroticism between women,” he justified.
“The Arab world is used to one female artist [appearing in an explicit manner]. We also have gay men in music videos, it’s very obvious, but we never have explicitly labeled it like they have done,” stated Fadi Haddad, a Lebanese music video director.
The Arab world’s negative criticism of Shakira’s video seems harsher than that of Rihanna’s 2010 music video for one of her most listened-to songs, “Te Amo.” Some claim that this is because Shakira had never before appeared in a music video where her “sexy partner” is actually a girl.
Reference of a society in moral decay
Meanwhile, Marco Fidel Ramirez, a Colombian politician lashed out at Shakira, accusing her of “promoting lesbianism and the usage of tobacco.”
“Our Shakira with her erotic video is promoting tobacco usage and has become the worst example for our youth,’ he wrote on his Twitter feed, using the hashtag #PeligroVideoShakira, which translates to ‘Dangers of Shakira’s Video.’
“Shakira’s new video is a shameless case for lesbianism and immorality. It is a danger to children,” he added.
Ramirz called on the Colombia’s National Television Authority to ban the video from being broadcast on any of the country’s TV channels.