Russell Brand Faces Backlash After Criticizing Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's 'WAP' Video
The British actor, 45, criticized the collaboration between the two rap artists in a lengthy YouTube video on Friday. Entitled "WAP: Feminist Masterpiece or Porn?," Brand discussed the "cultural phenomena" surrounding the "WAP" music video and "its use of sexual imagery and female potency."
Asking whether women “achieve equality by aspiring to and replicating the values that have been established by males," Brand then goes on to say that he thinks music videos from women in hip hop are "an emulation of a template that already exists and was established by males."
He continued, "If male hip hop tropes are about the potency of male sexuality… and then the female video is a sort of celebration of sexual potency… it's an emulation of a template that already exists and is established by males."
"I wouldn't be so reductive and simplistic to say that women celebrating their bodies using an aesthetic that's conventionally been associated with the male gaze means it's impossible that these tools could be used as a vehicle for liberation," he added. "But I am saying that, in a sense, it's still the same metric — it's still the same aesthetic, it's still the same values, it's still the same ideals. It's still ultimately a sort of capitalist objectification and commodification of, in this case, the female."
After his video was shared, Brand received some very strong reactions on social media from those who accused him of "mansplaining" feminism.
"I really don't want to be taught feminism by Russell Brand. But I look forward to Louis CK's thoughts on why Beyoncé is getting it all wrong," one user wrote as another added, "Congratulations to Russell Brand for mansplaining to women how they should enjoy WAP & their own sexuality."
"Imagine thinking ur so woke and being this dumb," another user tweeted. "The end of the day Russell you are a white cis man unable to empathise [sic] with the experiences of women and ur option matters very little to this bigger conversation. You’re being ignorant AND whoreohobic [sic] AND no one asked."
One other user added, "I'm so glad we have you to tell us your thoughts about women owning their promiscuity and sexuality. For days all I've been thinking is "what does Russell Brand have to say about this?"??? I've barely slept! Thank god for this video, now I can rest easy again."
Earlier this month, musician CeeLo Green similarly came under fire after he also criticized the "WAP" music video as well.
In an interview with Far Out magazine, the "Crazy" singer, 45, shared his views on the current chart-topping music, singling out heavyweights like Nicki Minaj and the "WAP" rappers for being explicitly sexual with their lyrics.
"A lot of music today is very unfortunate and disappointing on a personal and moral level," he said. "There was once a time when we were savvy enough to code certain things. We could express to those it was meant for with the style of language we used. But now music is shameless, it is sheer savagery."
"Attention is also a drug and competition is around," continued Green. "Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all. ... It comes at what cost?"
Following the backlash, Green issued a statement on Instagram, explaining that there is a "misunderstanding" about his comments and that he is an "advocate of artistic freedom and expression."