Rihanna's PR Nightmare
2012 has not gotten off to a great start for Rihanna. She's taken a lot of flack for reuniting with Chris Brown, her music has been labeled "bulls*it" in the press and her Navy has mostly mutinied in light of a series of PR snafus. The latest happened overnight as she released a series of behind-the-scenes snaps from the set of Coldplay's Princess of China music video -- a song she's featured on.
"Gangsta Goth Geisha," she Tweeted along with a few pics of her rocking this Asian-aesthetic -- snaps that have fans resurrecting racist accusations.
The problem began earlier this month when Rihanna Tweeted the message, "Ima make u my bitch" along with a picture of rice cakes gussied up with a pair of big sunglasses and big gold earrings -- just like the ones Chris Brown's girlfriend Karrueche is known for wearing. Fans immediately jumped on the racist undertones since Karrueche is Asian and the foodstuff in question could be seen as a racist slam.
Those flames were once again fanned by last night's pictures.
Forget for a moment that Geisha's are Japanese and the song is called Princess of China. I actually think the fan reaction speaks to a larger problem Rihanna must address immediately -- in light of her Chris Brown collaboration and her inexplicable turn towards the aggressive on Twitter (she basically cyberbullied a teenage girl), Rihanna is no longer getting the benefit of the doubt from her fans.
The comment sections on blogs that have picked up these new photos perfectly illustrate my point. When one comment chain began discussing the fact that Memoirs of a Geisha featured an almost-entirely Chinese cast, several people echoed this sentiment: "Gong Li get a free pass for being amazing."
The implication being that Rihanna doesn't deserve a free pass anymore because she's no longer in their good graces. And when your fan base -- the people buying your music, stan-ing for you online and coming out to your concerts -- no longer jump to your defense, you have to wonder if they're going to jump ship when it comes time for her to launch a new album. Don't get me wrong, this is a very fixable problem ... I just don't think Rihanna cares.