In the clip, Seren Sensei says that “Bruno Mars 100% is a cultural appropriator. He is not black, at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres.”
Seren Sensei dug deeper:
“Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy, Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy. So, how are you going to say that people who are originators in the funk genre, originators in R&B, New Jack Swing—Bobby Brown and New Edition don’t have no Album of the Year Grammy. Bruno Mars got that Grammy because white people love him because he’s not black, period. The issue is we want our black culture from non-black bodies, and Bruno Mars is like, ‘I’ll give it to you.'”
This has reignited the debate over the racial ambiguity of Bruno Mars. Bruno’s mother Bernadette is Filipina and his father Peter is Puerto Rican and Jewish.
While some agreed with the activist’s comments, many came to defend Bruno Mars on Twitter.
— Charlie Wilson (@ImCharlieWilson) March 9, 2018
Rapper Charlie Wilson wrote a lengthy message coming to the aid of Mars, calling him “a genuine talent, pure and simple.”
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) March 12, 2018
Keep making that funky ish, @BrunoMars!!!! Do you always ❤️🌹
— Rapsody (@rapsody) March 10, 2018
It’s a complex issue and it has sparked a lot of discussion on Twitter. 9th Wonder himself has gone into great detail discussing the issue of race and ethnicity when it comes to influence.
On Sunday, Bruno Mars took home the award for Best R&B Artist and best R&B song for ‘That’s What I Like’ at the 2018 iHeart Radio Music Awards.
What do you think about the backlash against Bruno Mars? Do you think it’s justified and warranted?