Akon and Nigerian rapper, WizKid are in Ghana making a music video and apparently had a very limited casting call. Models who showed up are reporting that some are being turned away for not being “half-caste,” a term that means of mixed race.
According to reports, the darker skinned models were turned away but were asked to help find lighter skinned women for the shoot. The agent on site said, “they [Akon and Wizkid] now want half-caste girls.”
As a dark-skinned Senegalese entertainer, Akon is well-aware of the concept of color discrimination and self-hatred in a continent where skin bleaching cream tops beauty sales. So it would seem contrary for him to perpetuate the idea of self-hatred. But are we surprised? No.
For years, he and other entertainers have chosen to cast ethnically ambiguous or light-skinned black women for their music videos. The decision stems for a historical lineage of issues in the black community that are reflected in the aesthetics of current culture. What is most disheartening about this story is that these two African rapper went to a country known for beautiful dark-skinned women and asked for that exact opposite.
There’s no problem with personal preference, and we would never suggest one color is automatically more attractive than another, but the decision to look for only “half-caste” women shows an utter lack of sensitivity, perspective, vision, and taste. Frankly, it’s ignorant and sad.
Akon and WizKid have yet to make a statement about the allegations.