Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Sporting Life

Coldplay Criticized for Lily White Super Bowl Message

NEW YORK—British musical act Coldplay may have graciously yielded the stage at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show to Bruno Mars and Beyonce Knowles, but Coldplay’s passive-aggressive civility did not fool all the people even some of the time. “Sure, they let Bey have a few moments on ‘their’ stage,” said Spike Lee, “but like the old slave masters, they kept her on a short chain, wouldn’t even allow her to finish her last song.”

Lee and others see Coldplay’s behavior as another example of white privilege. Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, who was once married to Gwyneth Paltrow, perhaps the whitest woman in the world, raced on stage as if he had just come from a trivia quiz in a pub. Worse yet, noted The New York Times, “[Coldplay] wore gray, slate blue, musky brown, dusty black. Visually, it made them the void at the center of a riot of exuberance, a transparent neo-colonial approach to domination.”

“That sort of sartorial insouciance is the evolutionary by-product of centuries of living off the sweat of opposed peoples,” wrote Ta-Nehisi Coates in a ten-thousand-word op-ed piece in The Times.

“Martin and other beneficiaries of white privilege know they can look like field hands and still be welcome in any ‘upscale’ restaurant while Beyonce and other black people have to look as if they just stepped out of a bandbox. They are forced to spend their meager resources on clothes in an effort to keep up with the Billys and Beckys of the world.”

Will Smith saw Coldplay’s “tolerance” of Beyonce on stage as “straight-up exploitation, yo. The Super Bowl knew the halftime show was too white and didn’t reflect American tastes in music, so they brought in persons of color to entertain their audience. The man’s been doing this since plantation days in America.”
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