X Factor accused of cultural appropriation after Japanese-inspired performance
Viewers have slammed the X Factor for cultural appropriation after Saara Aalto’s Japanese-inspired performance this weekend.
It was Girlband vs. Boyband theme on the X Factor this weekend, with contestants singing massive group hits by the likes of the Beatles, One Direction and more.
It was Saara Aalto’s performance that caused a bit of a stir this Saturday, however. Her song choice may have been in keeping with the theme, as she sang Girls Aloud’s “Sound of the Underground”, but the costume and staging seemed to bear very little relevance.
The singer performed her rendition dressed as a geisha whilst dancers pranced around her holding traditional Japanese fans and oil-paper umbrellas.
Besides the staging seeming just plain bizarre in terms of its lack of connection to the song, many viewers of the show also took offence to the way in which Asian culture was used as costume. The show was accused of cultural appropriation and it was even suggested that Brian Friedman was guilty of mocking Japanese culture with his choice of choreography.
He wrote: “I am obsessed with Japanese culture, have spent much of my life there and speak Japanese!”
Really shocked that people are questioning our cultural appropriateness for @saaraaalto performance on @thexfactor tonight. I am obsessed with Japanese culture, have spent much of my life there and speak Japanese! If you took this wrong, your head was in the wrong place… only love! PS, were not the first to do it either!!!! @beyonce @badgalriri @ladygaga @katyperry @madonna #BFreeGlobal #LondonLife #CreativeDirector
Saara Aalto also justified her nod to Japan on Monday’s Good Morning Britain, saying: “I loved it because I love Japanese culture. We had a party in Tokyo in that song.
“I loved it, I’ve waited my whole life to do something like that and yes, maybe I should strip it down but next week is Disco Week.”
X Factor continues Saturday at 8pm on ITV.