Rihanna has apologized to the Muslim community after an uproar over an appearance on an Amazon Prime-streamed lingerie show that included a song containing excerpts from sacred Islamic texts, calling its inclusion an “honest yet careless mistake.”
“The use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible!” the singer admitted in a written statement that appeared in her Instagram Stories, adding that she would “make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show included a section in which lingerie models danced to the song “Doom” by Coucou Chloe. The 2017 track includes a passage from the Hadith, a sacred text to Muslims that is revered as a record of the Prophet Mohammed’s sayings and actions.
“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our Savage x Fenty show,” she wrote. “I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest yet careless mistake. We understand that we may have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this!
“I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion,” Rihanna continued, “and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding,” she wrote, signing off: “RiH.”
Rihanna’s last Instagram post, previewing the show, had become a target for comments about the controversy. Her only caption for the preview photo ironically included the words “not sorry”: #SAVAGENOTSORRY bih! VOL. 2 of the @savagexfenty show TOMORROW on @amazonprimevideo.”
In response, after the show, one Instagram user wrote a comment that garnered 51,400 likes. Wrote @nawalkimendhi: “im really upset rihanna :( ive always loved and looked up to you and appreciated your sense of diversity in all your branding. now, i see you put an islamic hadith or prayer in your music for a lingerie show? thats beyond disrespectful and disappointing. im so sad :(” Another post that had 41,000 likes said: “Maybe don’t use the Islamic religion on the soundtrack to one of your shows? It’s kinda disrespectful.”
Earlier, Coucou Choloe had tweeted an apology as well. “I want to deeply apologize for the offence caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM’,” the tweet said. “The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith.”