Selena Gomez has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for her insensitive behavior at a mosque in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, Gomez isn't the first celebrity to be blasted for their culturally-insensitive behavior. From Katy Perry to Miley Cyrus, find out why these celebrities have all come under fire for their disrespectful behavior:
The most important rule to remember when visiting foreign countries? Respect the culture. It seems Selena Gomez and her friends missed the memo on a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates. There, the gang visited Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which asks guests to wear "modest, conservative, loose fitting clothes." Women must wear ankle-length skirts.
Gomez, naturally, posted several pictures from her visit to the mosque. In one, she brazenly lifts up her garb to reveal her bare ankle. According to TMZ, mosque leaders found the pose "disrespectful," and many users on Twitter commented to express their outrage at the photo. She later deleted the photo.
2. Gomez 2
Unfortunately, Selena Gomez has been called out before for her disrespectful behavior concerning world religions. In April 2013, the Universal Society of Hinduism asked the "Come And Get It" singer to apologize for her use of the bindi during performances.
"The bindi is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance," Hindu statesmen Rajan Zed said at the time. "It is also sometimes referred to as the third eye of the flame, and it is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol... It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed. Selena should apologize and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions."
Gomez responded to the controversy by posting a selfie of her dressed in a gold-trimmed sari and bindi. "Sari not sari," the caption read.
"Between the lack of Asian women on the stage, the heavy handed use of bowing and shuffling around in the choreography, and the ethno-confused set and costume design, Perry presented her viewers a one-dimensional Eastern fantasy drawn by a Western eye right out of the gate," Phyllis Heitjan wrote at the time.
Sadly, Perry has come under fire in the past for her culturally-insensitive antics. Her video for "This Is How We Do" showcased some fo the worst stereotypes about African-Americans, and the "Dark Horse" video presented Egyptian culture as a "costume" or "prop."
Miley Cyrus shocked audiences when she openly disrespected Mexico while touring the country last year. During a performance in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon on September 16 (Mexican Independence Day), a back-up dancer spanked Cyrus with a Mexican flag as she twerked wearing a fake butt.
Mexico, like many other countries, enforces strict laws concerning the respectful use of la bandera. As a result, Cyrus could face up to 36 hours in jail and a $1200 fine for her actions.
Johnny Depp became the center of attention after he took on the role of Tonto, a Native American, in The Lone Ranger. The depiction — culturally insensitive at best and racist at worst — drew its inspiration from a painting called "I Am Crow" by Kirby Sattler. In other words, The Lone Ranger chose a non-Native American to play the role, then based the costume for the role on a painting by a non-Native American.
Basically, Johnny Depp just looked like Captain Jack Sparrow with a crow on his head.
While Johnny Depp claims he took the role to combat pervasive stereotypes about Native Americans, a better way to combat stereotypes would probably be to hire an actual Native American to play the role.
Julianne Hough made headlines on Halloween 2013 when she attended a party dressed as Crazy Eyes from Orange Is The New Black. Oh, and did we mention she went in full blackface?
Understandably, people were pretty pissed off.
Thankfully, Hough seemed to understand the magnitude of her actions, and she issued a heartfelt apology. "I am a huge fan of the show Orange Is The New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created," Hough tweeted. "It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectul or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize."
In 2013, Lady Gaga dropped a tune that would be prove to be highly-controversial, "Burqa", which also went by the title "Aura." In the song, Gaga — who previously tried to make the phrase "burqa swag" happen — sexualizes the burqa. "Do you wanna see me naked, lover? Do you wanna peek underneath the cover?" she sings.
Members of the Muslim community spoke out against Gaga, who has worn burqas in the past. "Lady Gaga's obsession with the burqa is not coincidental regarding the current foreign policy of the United States," wrote Adam Abboud, creator of the tumblr Racist Little Monsters. "Her co-opting of the burqa feeds into a consuming Western stomach, hungry for images of oppressed Muslim women that need saving."
Back in February 2013, fashion magazine Numéro shot an editorial photoshoot entitled "African Queen." Except, instead of hiring and shooting an African model, they chose to hire a 16-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed model. Yeah. The magazine then doused her in bronzer and face makeup to give her blackface. As Foudre notes, "Why hire a black model when you could just paint a white one?"
Numéro's "apology" for the incident left many frustrated. "For its part, Numéro Magazine, which has the utmost respect for this photographer's creative work, firmly excludes that the latest may have had, at any moment, the intention to hurt readers' sensitivity, whatever their origin."