Close  

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia criticized for ‘cultural insensitivity’ in Ethiopia prenup shoot

/ 04:46 PM March 11, 2018

A destination photo shoot of celebrities Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia has recently gone viral for more than the dramatic shots and artsy fashion that they sported.

Their prenup photos taken in Ethiopia looked like they belonged in a magazine editorial, with shots showcasing both the photographers’ and couple’s artistry.

ADVERTISEMENT

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Ethiopia

Image: Metrophoto

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Ethiopia

Image: Metrophoto

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Ethiopia

Image: Metrophoto

But certain photos caught netizens’ attention, particularly those with locals in the background. Perhaps with the intention to showcase Ethiopia and its people; in one shot, the TV hosts were flanked by children, and in others, both women and children were in the background as the couple posed.

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Ethiopia

Image: Metrophoto

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Ethiopia

Image: Metrophoto

Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Ethiopia

Image: Metrophoto

Netizens in Twitter weighed in on how the Ethiopians were featured in the photographs. One, @AlfonsoLabrague, believes that the couple appeared to be boasting their privilege as they were in the foreground and locals were blurred away.

FEATURED STORIES

“While you are being culturally insensitive, you’re telling the world how privileged you are,” he tweeted. “You can always have pre-nup shoots without being racist.”

“I don’t see at all why we should admire a prenup photoshoot making background props out of Ethiopian women & children,” said another netizen, @therachelravana.

“It’s always important to ask yourself if you’re objectifying and reducing the dignity of the subjects,” noted another, @rcktchester. “Hindi pwedeng ‘aesthetic value’ lang (It can’t always be just for aesthetic value).”

For @lastjedies, the photo shoot  “perpetuates dehumanization and exoticization of other cultures… it’s an act of disrespect and ignorance.”

The photos were also compared to an old cover of men’s magazine FHM, way back in March 2012, where Bela Padilla “stepped out of the shadows” as she was surrounded by black women.

‘Over-analyzed’

The offending photos have since been taken down from the viral post of ABS-CBN promoter Nhoie Gurrobat.

Gurrobat stated in the post’s comments section, “Hindi kaya kayo yung racist sa pag-oover-analyze n’yo ng mga bagay-bagay tulad nito… kayo yung may issue sa mga blacks at mababa yung tingin sa kanila?”

(Couldn’t it be that you are the racists for over-analyzing things like this? That you’re the ones who have issues on blacks and have a low regard for them?)

Image: Facebook/@nhoiegee

Gurrobat claimed that they intended to show the beauty of “Ethiopian kids and culture,” and that Ethiopia wasn’t as poor as other African nations. Gurrobat quoted a Wikipedia article on the economy of Ethiopia to prove his point.

Hindi naman mukhang gutom ang mga batang yan at kahit papano, ayos naman ang suot nila. tapos naka pose din naman sila at nakatingin sa camera,” he said, referring to the photo where the children are blurred out as they stood around Garcia and Crawford. (They don’t look hungry, and at least in some way, their clothes are decent. They’re posing and looking at the camera.)

In one of his comments, he claimed to quote photographer Oly Ruiz. “We talked to these people and even asked permission. It’s actually offensive for people to interpret them as props. Why slaves? Because they are Africans? Dapat ba pinag-gown din namin sila? These people are beautiful, how they are shot is how they are in real life, if you see them as slaves then I feel bad for you.”

Image: Facebook/@nhoiegee

Crawford, who initially had a picture of them and the children on his Instagram page, has also deleted said picture.

Image: Instagram/@billycrawford

Metrophoto has yet to release an official statement on the matter. INQUIRER.net welcomes its side on the issue. JB

RELATED STORIES:

LOOK: Coleen Garcia, Billy Crawford stun in Thailand engagement photo shoot

FHM Philippines scraps ‘racist’ cover

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Follow @NGunoINQ on Twitter
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Billy Crawford, Celebrity Weddings, Coleen Garcia, cultural insensitivity, engagement shoot, Ethiopia, exoticism, prenup, racism
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.