J Balvin has found himself in big controversy after receiving the Afro-Latino Artist of the Year award at the recently-concluded 2021 African Entertainment Awards USA.
J Balvin Given The Award Despite Not Being Afro-Latino
Over the weekend, the African Entertainment Awards gave Balvin the prestigious award and the act was met with immediate uproar from fans who couldn’t understand why the Latina singer was a worthy recipient.
The African Entertainment Awards, established in 2015, was set up to celebrate and uplift African entertainment, so it was confusing to many was Balvin was even considered in the first place.
Also, Balvin, a native of Medellin, Colombia, doesn’t qualify as Afro-Latino. The “Mi Gente” heartily received the award via a now-deleted post on Instagram but he was instantly met with intense backlash.
Fans Heavily Slam The ‘Mi Gente’ Singer
Netizens on Twitter and Instagram bashed the singer for receiving the award despite knowing he wasn’t qualified to be in the category. One user wrote, “J Balvin, a white Latino, shouldn’t have accepted this award over actual Afro-Latino artists.”
Another fan pointed out, “not only is he not black but he’s winning this the same year that he had a video with black women on leashes being fed friend chicken. Right right.”
J Balvin was walking black woman on leashes in a music video this year and then just won the Afro Latino award?!
— META SNACKS (@MetaSnacks) December 27, 2021
Many other netizens focused their anger on the organization for making the wrong choice in the first place. This angered fan wrote:
I don’t know what’s worse, that J Balvin was even put in this category, that the awards is called AFRICAN ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS, implying that actual black people committed this atrocity of a choice.
J. Balvin being awarded an Afro Latino artist of the year award and him having no problem accepting said award is White Supremacy at it’s finest.
— Arri is procrastinating🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️🇵🇷 (@BoriQueerReads1) December 27, 2021
Balvin Addresses The Award And Clarified His Identity
Following the vitriol poured on Balvin, the Grammy nominee took to his Instagram story to clear the air and declare his stance on the issue.
In the update which was written in Spanish, the artist stated that he wasn’t Afro-Latino. He wrote, “I am not Afro-Latino. But thank you for giving me a place in the contribution to Afrobeat music and it’s movement.”
Moments after, The African Entertainment Awards released a statement on their Instagram, addressing fans’ worries. The organization noted that as a result of the complaints, the category would be changed to “Best Latin Artist of the Year.”
View this post on Instagram
Explaining the impact of the new category, they wrote, “The Best Latin Artist category is for any artist based in Latin America that is contributing to the African culture especially the Afro-beats sound globally. It is not based on race but more importantly based on pushing the African culture forward on the world stage.”
Nevertheless, fans remain displeased with the organization’s response because Balvin still took home the award.
One fan ranted, “instead of removing him from the category and giving the award to an ACTUAL Afro-Latino, they decide to change the whole thing and exclude black people as a whole.”
It is evident that fans are not at all pleased with the award organization. Balvin hasn’t publicly addressed the category change.