Bruno Mars Accused of Culture Appropriation



Bruno Mars is one of the most popular artists today.

Alyssa Pepito, Photojournalist

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, cultural appropriation can be defined as “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.” Recently, popular singer, Bruno Mars, has been accused of cultural appropriation due to accusations stemming from a two-minute video, which first went viral on Twitter and then started to circulate the rest of the internet. The panel of people included in the video discussed their opinions on whether or not Bruno Mars was guilty of cultural appropriation or not.

The video was made by a channel on Youtube called “The Grapevine” and is known as a web series which discusses African-American issues in a panel style. A clip from a video titled “Is Bruno Mars a Culture Appropriator?” is what began to go around the internet. Within the clip, writer and activist, Seren Sensei explains her strong thoughts on Mars’ appropriation of Black culture. Sensei states, “Bruno Mars 100% is a cultural appropriator. He is not black, at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres.” She moves onto another point which she explains how people only pay attention to Bruno Mars because “they prefer their Black music and their Black culture from a non-black face.”

Sensei goes on to explain the difficulties of Black artists when trying to make it big in the entertainment industry. Many agreed with this point she made, in which they provided examples of how Prince and Michael Jackson have only won so many awards being as popular as they are; yet, they are Black artists themselves. Tiffany Vo (11) states, “I love Bruno Mars and his music and understand the points Seren has made, however, I don’t know if I would call it cultural appropriation.”

Multiple other black celebrities have stepped up in defense of Bruno Mars and spoke their thoughts. For example, Stevie Wonder, a well-known, Grammy-winning artist, speaks up on behalf of Mars. According to a TMZ clip, Wonder says, “Here’s the thing, God created music for all of us to enjoy. So we cannot limit ourselves by people’s fears and insecurities.” He explains how Mars was inspired by great musicians and that’s all that matters.

Whether Bruno Mars is really appropriating Black culture really depends on someone’s personal opinion. The question very much still up for debate and many people are arguing for and against the argument whether Bruno Mars really appropriates culture or if it’s all just some misunderstanding.