Rihanna's company, Fenty, is being sued for $10 million after a song choice at its fashion show last year caused backlash.
For those who aren't aware, Rihanna's Savage X Fenty 2020 fall show attracted criticism back in October when a song that sampled Islamic sayings was played for the runway.
The song in question, titled “Doom” and produced by Coucou Chloe, included a remixed verse that relayed Islamic proverbs known as hadiths, which are “narrative records of the sayings or customs of the prophet Muhammad and his companions,” according to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. The sayings are considered sacred to Muslims.
After the show, which was livestreamed to millions of people, fans were quick to call Rihanna out for her inclusion of the song, labeling her “disrespectful” and accusing her of appropriating the sacred Islamic sayings.
Coucou Chloe responded to the backlash immediately, issuing a series of tweets explaining that she hadn't done research on the samples used in the song, which she said was found online.
“I want to deeply apologize for the offence caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM’,” Chloe tweeted. “The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith.”
“I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me,” she went on. “We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms.”
Rihanna — who was recently declared a billionaire — apologized days later in a statement issued to her Instagram story, calling the incident an “honest, yet careless mistake.”
“We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I'm incredibly disheartened by this!” she wrote. “I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible!”
“Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” she went on. “Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.”