Rita Ora is accused of 'blackfishing' and 'cultural appropriation'

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‘She’s been blackfishing’: Rita Ora is accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ as Twitter user discovers she is not black… with the outraged tweet garnering over 100k likes

  • The Hot Right Now hitmaker, 29, has been accused of ‘blackfishing’ by Twitter users who discovered her Albanian roots in a social media storm on Monday
  • The tweet regarding her heritage has garnered over 100k likes in two days, as well as 22.4k retweets and comments in the two day span
  • Critics shared images with her hair in an afro and box braids, taken in 2015
  • Despite frequently discussing her Albanian heritage, her family’s escape from the war-torn area and life as a refugee in London, enraged critics still lashed out
  • Amid the furious debate, many of Rita’s fans launched to her defense – with one sharing a montage of clips showing her discussing her heritage  

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Rita Ora is accused of 'blackfishing' and 'cultural appropriation'

About 'blackfishing'

Rita Ora has been accused of ‘blackfishing’ by Twitter users who discovered her Albanian roots in a social media storm on Monday. 

Despite the Hot Right Now hitmaker, 29, frequently discussing her Albanian heritage, her family’s escape from the war-torn area and life as a refugee in London, enraged critics still lashed out at the star for her alleged ‘cultural appropriation’.  

Rita Ora is accused of 'blackfishing' and 'cultural appropriation'

The tweet that sparked the entire debate garnered a huge 109.4k likes in just two days, with the fuming message accompanied with images of Rita donning ‘appropriating’ hairstyles such as box braids and an afro. 

Hitting out: Rita Ora has been accused of ‘blackfishing’ by Twitter users who discovered her Albanian roots in a social media storm on Monday (pictured in 2015)

Rita and her family fled Albania in 1991, during the decade-long war in the country, where thousands of people were killed and more than one million people – including the Oras – were forced to escape to safety.

In April, Rita discussed her experience as a refugee after ‘escaping persecution’ as a child in Albania, with her parents and sister Elena.  

Rita visits Albania whenever she can with her family and proudly owns the traditional dress and knows their dances. 

In 2016, during an appearance on Wendy Williams’ show, the host said: ‘I thought you were half-Black and half-white, or something like that, to which Rita replied: ‘Everybody usually does. I might as well be. But no, I’m Albanian.’

Shocking: Her followers were left shocked

Despite these factors, a Twitter user wrote on Monday: ‘Finding out rita ora isn’t black at all and both of her parents are white albanians is so trippy…

‘The girls BEEN blackfishing… like the girl isn’t black in the slightest this is freaking me out. yt [slang for Whitey] women really slip into black personas so easily… 

‘if y’all knew she wasn’t mixed then good for you but don’t gaslight us like were delusional and randomly assumed she was black’.

The initial tweet saw the eye-popping number of likes, as well as 22.4k retweets and comments in the two day span. 

In response to the original message, a follower penned: ‘And she was pretty vocal about it as well because imo she was getting tired of everyone thinking she had some black in her when she was just Albanian.’ 

Uh oh: Yet the Twitter user wrote: ‘if she was so tired of ppl “assuming” she was black why was she wearing braids, tanning and plopping a jerry curl wig on her head?’

Yet the Twitter user wrote: ‘if she was so tired of ppl “assuming” she was black why was she wearing braids, tanning and plopping a jerry curl wig on her head?…

‘y’all can’t be this dumb. like you genuinely have to be an idiot to believe her and her team weren’t feeding into the idea of her being mixed.’

In support of the message, tweeters penned: ‘We’ve been blackfished… rita ora not being black …. so she’s been blackfishing and culture appropriating this whole time… Whatttttt???!????? I thought she was mixed’

Sharing a series of images of Rita donning different hairstyles, another confused tweeter wrote: ‘Your telling me this woman not at least mixed?????????’

Changing: Her various hairstyles came under fire by her critics (pictured in 2015)

More users wrote: ‘that’s what’s weirding me out like i didn’t think she was fully black but mixed at least… WAIT SHES NOT EVEN A LIL BIT BLACK??

‘tf i thought she was black… I just found out that Rita Ora isn’t black… like at ALL. She’s literally the same ethnicity as Dua Lipa.’

Blackfishing is a term used to describe a person accused of pretending to be black on social media by using make-up, hair products  and styles to change their appearance. 

Way back when: Additionally, in 2016, during an appearance on Wendy Williams’ show, the host said: ‘I thought you were half-Black and half-white, or something like that, to which Rita replied: ‘Everybody usually does. I might as well be. But no, I’m Albanian’

Despite the influx of confusion and criticism, others were keen to point out that Rita had always been very vocal about her race and background. 

One fan jumped to her defense by sharing a montage of videos in which she discusses her Kosovan background. 

Another defender wrote: ‘But she was on the Wendy show talking about how she’s albania she was on the radio speaking Albanian she was on the news being interviewed about kosov SHE LITERALLY HAS A SONGGGGGGGG IN KOSOVVVVV’

‘She’s said she was white though numerous times.’

War: Despite the Hot Right Now hitmaker, 29, frequently discussing her Albanian heritage, her family’s escape from the war-torn area and life as a refugee in London, enraged critics still lashed out at the star for her alleged cultural appropriation (pictured with her mum Vera and sister Elena)

‘How is she black fishing ? Y’all automatically ASSUMED she has black in her . Not once has this girl said she was black or trying to be black . She look like a regular industry chick switching her looks up .’

Another defensive fan penned: ‘But she was BORN with these features…she never once tried to be black. 

‘She proudly stated numerous times that she’s Albanian. Yeaaa she wore braids a couple times, but black women dye their hair blonde the tweet issa reach’.

MailOnline has contacted a representative for Rita for comment.  

Way back when: Rita posted a tribute to Kosovan Independence day