Skip to content

Accused of appropriating Indian culture, Malaysian actress Mira Filzah apologises for wearing traditional clothes

BY TAN MEI ZI MALAY MAIL Fri August 21, 2020

Mira said she was inspired by Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai and wanted to emulate her character from the film ‘Umrao Jaan’ for the photoshoot. — Pictures courtesy of Instagram/mfmirafilzah

PETALING JAYA, Aug 21 — Malaysian actress Mira Filzah has apologised to a Twitter user who accused her of appropriating Indian culture in a contact lens photoshoot.

The 27-year-old actress recently posted Instagram photos of herself clothed in a full set of embroidered lehenga, a form of traditional clothing for Indian women, and an elaborate nath or nose ring.

She also shared a video of herself lip-syncing to the song Maar Dala from the Hindi film Devdas.

The photos began making the rounds yesterday on Twitter where one user known as Eshwarya sarcastically labelled Mira the “cultural appropriation queen” and accused her of profiting off Indian culture.

The tweet has gotten over 6,000 retweets and 4,100 likes so far.

Mira then apologised directly to Eshwarya on Twitter and clarified that she had suggested traditional Indian clothing for the photoshoot because she was a die-hard fan of the Bollywood industry.

She was also inspired by the striking gaze of actress Aishwarya Rai in the movie Umrao Jaan and wanted to emulate her for the photoshoot.

“Hi dear. I am sorry if what I did was wrong. I’ve grown up with Bollywood movies and songs and I’ve always been a fan of Bollywood since I was small.

“When I got offered this photoshoot, Aishwarya Rai’s eyes came across my mind. I loved to see her green/blue eyes in Umrao Jaan, so I suggested the Bollywood theme to the brand owner.

“Again, there’s no intention at all to gain any profit by my own from the Indian culture itself. I’m just a die-hard fan of Bollywood and I am sorry if you think what I did was wrong.

“I really respect and love your culture,” Mira wrote.

 

Eshwarya later thanked her for the sincere apology and said she was sorry if her initial tweet caused Mira to become the target of hate comments.

She also suggested that the Sangkar actress use her platform to spotlight models, designers, and make-up artists of Indian heritage if she was truly passionate about promoting their culture.

Despite the amicable reconciliation, Eshwarya has become the target of cyberbullying and was forced to close her Twitter direct messages yesterday after receiving a barrage of hate from strangers.

She also shared screenshots of people calling her racial slurs and nicknames while accusing her of trying to stir up unrest amongst Malaysians.

To clear the air, Eshwarya clarified that she has no problem with people of other races wearing Indian clothing but that she was merely against those who utilise Indian culture as a tool for profit.

“It’s only wrong when you use it for profit, or just to hop on a trend. When you genuinely respect it or you want to wear it to a friend’s wedding or a cultural event, that’s perfectly okay,” said Eshwarya.

Other Twitter users also agreed that it was disappointing to see artistes using Indian fashion as an aesthetic prop without acknowledging the systemic racism faced by minorities in Malaysia.

https://www.malaymail.com/news/showbiz/2020/08/21/accused-of-appropriating-indian-culture-malaysian-actress-mira-filzah-apolo/1895836
Source: MALAY MAIL, MALAYSIA Fri August 21, 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: