Singer and actress Rita Ora is making headlines for allegedly pretending to be black for what fans are assuming is her entire career. The 29-year-old was accosted on Twitter after a follower tweeted, “Finding out Rita Ora isn’t black at all and both of her parents are white Albanians is so trippy…” the tweet was accompanied by a series of photos of Ora wearing predominately black hairstyles and noting that her skin tone has changed somewhat over the years. “The girls BEEN blackfishing… like the girl isn’t black in the slightest this is freaking me out. yt women really slip into black personas so easily…”
Ora has noted in the past that she is of Albanian heritage and she also discussed it on the “Wendy Williams Show” back in 2016. “Everybody usually does. I might as well be. But no, I’m Albanian,” responded the singer when Williams noted, “I thought you were half-Black and half-white, or something like that.” Ora has also spoken about having to flee Albania in 1991during a decade-long war that was taking place in the country. But despite the admission fans were not buying that she and her team were not purposefully trying to portray her as black.
Fans are accusing her of appropriating the black culture by styling her hair in an afro, box braids and using “so much” bronzer that she looks like a completely different race. Ora even went as far as to claim that she is “sick” of people “assuming” she is a woman of color. “#RitaOra out here #blackfishing and it’s gross. This is not ok.,” wrote one follower. Another wrote, “if she was so tired of ppl “assuming” she was black, why was she wearing braids, tanning, and plopping a jerry curl wog on her head? Y’all can’t be this dumb.”
Despite the outrage, Ora has received a lot of support from followers who believe she never intentionally made herself look black or appropriate anyone’s culture. “Let’s talk about Rita Ora. She never said she was black. She’s never hidden the fact that she’s Albanian. You assumed she was black because she wore afros, braids, cornrows, and has an olive skin tone. #RitaOra #Albanian.” Some European fans can to her defense explaining that the European race can sometimes be ambiguous due to their history.
“Guess what, ppl from South Europe can be not only fair-featured but also have darker features. Dark eyes, dark hair, even a bit darker skin but still “white”. Shocking right? #RitaOra #blackfishing.” The singer is yet to release a statement about the controversy surrounding her but what more can she say? She didn’t exactly hide that she is of Albanian descent, but it doesn’t help that she and her team have marketed her as something other than the race that she has been claiming all these years.