Coldplay’s latest video sparks controversy

MUMBAI: Coldplay may have shot the video of their song Hymn For The Weekend in India to celebrate its vibrant and mystic hues, but it has sparked a debate on social media, with some calling it a “stereotypical” portrayal of India.

Hymn for the Weekend is the latest single from the band’s seventh album A Head Full of Dreams.

The song is a collaborative effort of the band and Beyonce and the video has the pop sensation playing an Indian film star with the poster of her latest film Rani on the billboards. Beyonce has put henna on her hands and sports an ethnic outfit and jewellery.

Directed by Ben Mor, the video also features a cameo by Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor. “A story to tell my grandkids! I was in a @Coldplay video! Woo hoo! #biggestfan,” the excited actress tweeted.

The video has been shot in the streets of Mumbai and other parts of India with its theme anchored around the Holi.

While a lot of fans have applauded the band for showcasing the myriads colours of India in a beautiful way there are some who have slammed the video for cultural appropriation. “No thanks for the bundle of stereotypes @coldplay. No wonder then that India will be known as the country of snake charmers & sadhus,” a Twitter user posted.

Calling it another “Slumdog Millionaire” one user tweeted, “Coldplay’s new video Hymn For The Weekend looks like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ had a holi sequence.”

“@coldplay don’t exoticize us. You’ve been to the clubs and everything. Why do you want to make it seem like all we do is dance in the streets,” another user wrote.

The video focuses on everything Indian be it a ride in the famous black-and-yellow taxi of Mumbai to life on the streets to saints and temples.