Netta Barzilai, Israel's Eurovision Entry: Cultural Appropriation?

Netta Barzilai from Israel’s Eurovision entry was voted #1 for her Asian inspired performance and song ‘Toy’. Many commentators have argued that the performance is cultural appropriation – using Japanese Motifs such as maneki-neko cats in her set and Asian style costume elements. The performance has also been accused of using traditional drum elements from Palestinian culture which in the current political climate can be seen as extremely disrespectful. Others see the performance as a celebration of cultural diversity and the inclusion of Asian culture into a European competition. Why is this performance so dividing throughout commentators? What are the main arguments for and and against the inclusion of Asian culture in this performance?

  • An excellent point to make! i understand how it might be considered a celebration of diversity in culture, but ultimately the maneki-nekos don't serve a purpose and the song isn't really about cultural diversity. It seems to be more about bullying, sexism, and equality. It does certainly feel like the nekos were used without any thought or purpose other than someone thinking "oh they look cool, lts add them in." This isn't inherently mean-spirited, but it's certainly questionable... – Dimitri 4 years ago

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