Gwen Stefani Facing Major Backlash Over ‘Light My Fire’ Music Video

by Emily Morgan

Users took no time to roast Gwen Stefani after the pop icon appeared in a look that some deem controversial in her new music video for “Light My Fire.” 

Many are accusing the singer of cultural appropriation as viewers can see her wearing dreadlocks and an outfit that matches the Jamaican flag in the song, which is a collaboration with rapper Sean Paul and singer Shenseea. 

“Y’all. Mother Appropriation is BACK!!!!” one person wrote on Twitter. “Where my 2000s No Doubt / Gwen hive at!!!?? ITS TIME!!!”

Another Twitter user said, “Dear Gwen, You’re far too comfortable with cultural appropriation. Y’all Remember the Harajuku girls? The bindi she chose to wear in one of her videos? The Bantu knots? The imitation of indigenous culture within a music video, as well as, indecently portraying Latina women?”

Yet another Twitter user accused Blake Shelton’s wife of treating certain cultures like “dress up.” 

“It’s time you stop treating people’s heritage like a childish game & give it the respect it deserves. Alternatively, why don’t you portray your OWN cultural background within your work? I’m sure people would love to see that.”

However, “The Voice” coach had some supporters in her corner. 

“Sean Paul and many Jamaican people don’t mind, they are there at the set of the video lol,” one of her defenders pointed out. “Sean Paul even praised Gwen for embracing the culture for years.”

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Sean Paul called the song an “epic dream” come true. “I’ve been a fan of Gwen Stefani forever.” 

In the same interview, Shenseea said: “I feel honored to be tapped by two legends for this collaboration, the whole process was exciting and collaborative. I can’t wait for our fans to enjoy the video!”

Gwen Stefani on cultural appropriation: ‘All these rules are just dividing us’

In Stefani’s debut album from 2004, Love. Angel. Music. Baby, she featured several songs about Tokyo’s Harajuku fashion. Later, she opened up about her passion for the unique style. Additionally, Stefani incorporated Japanese dancers named Love, Angel, Music, and Baby in several of her music videos and some live shows. 

In 2021, after facing years of criticism for cultural appropriation, she defended herself in an interview with Paper magazine. 

“We learn from each other, we share from each other, we grow from each other and all these rules are just dividing us more and more,” she said

Recently, the Grammy winner performed a pre-taped version of the song during an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” She wore a sexy nude illusion top that made viewers do a double-take, later Twitter sounded off about the performance.

The 52-year-year proved she was immune to aging as she rocked out in the gold halter top that left little to the imagination. Gwen was on Kimmel to perform their new song alongside Paul. 

The mother of three and the 49-year-old reggae rapper performed the new dancehall single, which dropped May 27, for the first time with an audience.