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‘Show Us In a Respectful Light’: India.Arie Calls Out Megan Thee Stallion and Janelle Monae for Twerking and Lacking ‘Discretion’ In Recent Festival Performance

India.Arie is not here for the display of “hot girl summer” antics onstage during the ESSENCE Festival.

She made that fact known in a viral comment left on a video from Megan Thee Stallion’s performance that saw a flock of women, with the encouragement of Janelle Monae, put their best twerk moves on display for the onlooking crowd of attendees.

India.Arie says Megan Thee Stallion and Janelle Monae’s on-stage antics at ESSENCE Festival lacked discernment. (Photos: @Indiaarie/Instagram; @Essencefest/Instagram)

The video shared by the festival’s Instagram handle was, in part, captioned, “Hot girl bootcamp was in full effect last night.” Arie claimed the rump-shaking scene lacked context and that not everything belonged on stage.

“When we as a culture make something like this mainstream – it shows a lack of discretion a d discernment,” began the “I Am Not My Hair” singer. She added, “Just as many folks have the right to want our MAINSTREAM International export – out Music – to show us in a respectful light.”

Possibly already anticipating the backlash for her remarks, Arie said she knew her comment would not “age well,” writing, “i LOVE Janelle AND Meg the way i love us all ~ AND i don’t like this moment. Don’t bother debating me lol idc and I DO this,” she continued.

Monae also performed at the festival, where she exposed one of her breasts during her set.

Many shared a wide range of reactions in the online discourse regarding the neo-soul artist’s opinion. Here’s how some social media users responded to her hot take:

“The generation is so lost. Call me old but I’m tired of hearing and seeing yall booty holes.

“Essence knew what they were getting when they booked her. She’s not for kids. Save the outrage.”

“Morals aren’t for everyone, just like she said her hair wasn’t for her.”

“Y’all know she’s right. It’s such a weird time to be in music. It’s more T&A then talent. And obviously the ladies are extremely talented, but let’s not act like it’s not overshadowed by their rampant sexuality.

“* hey @indiaaire, the next time you want make a think piece on an opinion that’s rooted in nothing at all, please don’t! as for the kids, they are gonna be exposed to everything + some will sneak + see it. PLEASE STOP!”

Last year, Arie spurred mixed reactions when she spoke out about the misrepresentation of the culture and the exploitation of its music.

The music streaming platform Spotify especially found itself on the singer’s bad side after it placed the image of a white woman on the cover of one of her most recognized songs, “Brown Skin.”

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