The rapper Asian Doll is facing backlash on social media after announcing and selling tickets to her Indian-themed birthday party.
The rapper, whose real name is Misharron Jermeisha Allen, grew up in Dallas and is not of South Asian descent. She announced the details of the party on her Twitter and Instagram on Sunday with a flyer set to Arabic background music. The party, called “Asian Doll Escapes to India,” will be held in Atlanta on Dec. 7. According to the online invitation, Indian clothes are required to enter.
On her Instagram account, which has since been deactivated, she posted outfit inspiration pics that included Indian celebrities dressed in traditional kurtas and clips from Hindi movie dance numbers.
The announcement gained traction, and eventually thousands of users began denouncing the party’s theme as blatant cultural appropriation. Some pointed to a now-deleted tweet Allen made in February in which she called Indian food “nasty.”
“How is Asian Doll going to have a 'Indian' theme party which is so ignorant. But was just saying Indian food looked/tasted disgusting? Now I feel like the culture is a joke to her,” one person said.
Others joked about her use of Arabic music to promote her “Bollywood” party, and some couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous and overt it all was.
“LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL theme Bollywood music Arabic,” another person wrote. “[W]hy are some americans dense and this culturally unaware????”
This isn’t the first time Allen has faced backlash for cultural appropriation, or the adoption or profiting from a minority culture. She’s known for pushing those boundaries, in fact. Those following the controversy were quick to note that even her stage name “Asian Doll” and her past use of traditional clothing were objectionable.
Allen seemed to respond to the backlash on Twitter, saying that she doesn’t care what people say and that she’ll do what she wants “with no apologies.” She tweeted another announcement of the party on Monday morning, set to different music.
Allen didn’t respond to NBC Asian America’s request for comment.