Rihanna keeps her controversial photo on Twitter of Dr. Martin Luther King wearing grills despite mounting backlash. Days after Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, angry fans called out Rihanna for a photo of the civil rights leader, which they say is disrespectful to his legacy.
Fans on Twitter have called out Rihanna for the display photo on her Twitter account, which shows MLK wearing gold grills while smiling. While some have called out Rihanna for disrespecting the late MLK, some felt that the look with grills is iconic to black culture.
On January 16, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated in the United States and worldwide as they remembered the leader’s life and struggles for equality in the civil rights movement.
Many have honored the late leader with photos, posts, and clips of his speeches, but one particular thing drew the ire of MLK fans. Fans reacted to Rihanna’s tribute to Dr. King, where she changed the banner on her Twitter page to a photoshopped photo of Dr. King smiling with gold grills in his mouth and diamond earrings on his ears.
“MLK didn’t wear gold teeth and earrings… it’s disrespectful to Foundational Black Americans,” one person replied to one of her recent posts advertising Valentine’s Day lingerie.
Another posted and tagged her, “Hey @rihanna could you change your banner doesn’t show MLK in good taste,” while another said “@rihanna This is disrespectful. Take it down. As a non African American you have no idea what this man meant to us. He gave his life for ours. #mlk #MartinLutherKingJr.”
It appears that it’s only now the banner is being noticed as Rihanna has had that photo there for more than a month now.
“Very DisAppointed in Rihanna, HowEver mocking Our ICONS MLK Especially(freedom fighter) is UNACCEPTABLE & Leads me to Believe Shes in The Bed w/ Lucy The Goat..Shes Potrayin Like Shes FOR BLACK Possible Undercover Lesbian Who HATES BLACK MEN,” one person said, implying that Rihanna was anti-black.
Meanwhile, the Barbadian-born singer received support from fans who felt the post was not that serious. “They mad at Rihanna for using a photo of mlk with edits golds… baby he from the south. Best believe if he lived long enough, somebody’s favorite rapper would’ve gifted him some “for the culture,” one said.
“Wait, ppl are legitimately mad at that Rihanna/MLK photoshop of him with a grill? like, that’s what we’re mad at? an image of Dr King (a Black man) photoshop’d rocking a grill (something that’s culturally relevant and ultimately ultra Black to the region he’s from)??” another said.
“Ni**as throw durags on MLK and put it on t-shirts all the time but Rihanna can’t put MLK with grills in her header, them pro-black ni**as be not only picking and choosing issues lol,” another person on Twitter said