While for major mas producer, Carnival Tribe, the optics surrounding international celebrity, La La Anthony donning a Carnival costume for Halloween may have seemed great, many of Trinidad and Tobago’s nationals did not seem to share the sentiments.
“Never been to carnival so I brought carnival to me,” wrote La La beneath a photo she shared of herself on Sunday, ahead of Halloween. A feathery, dazzling costume, showed off the curves of the American TV personality but despite the beauty, many commented shrewdly, arguing that Anthony had chosen the culture of Trinidad and Tobago as a Halloween costume, and citing cultural appropriation.
Tribe Carnival, obviously unbothered by the social influencer’s post, took the opportunity to invite La La to T&T for Carnival. “You need to come to Trinidad for Carnival,” their post read, followed up with four fire emojis and Trinidad and Tobago flags. Anthony did not respond, however Tribe would soon be called out by some Trinbagonians in the comment section for choosing to ignore the apparent issue and instead choosing to market the business of carnival. “This is very disrespectful to our culture. Do you even know the significance of carnival and our costumes,” one person wrote. Another person channeled their disdain and toward the mas band saying, “@carnivaltribe ya’ll are so (expletive) thirsty. Instead of trying to inform her that carnival costume should not be used for Halloween, y’all over here begging for invite. Y’all should be ashamed.”
In June 2021, Black Panther actor, Michael B Jordan was criticized heavily after he labeled his rum, ‘J’ouvert Rum.’ He was also accused of cultural appropriation, with Trinidad and Tobago’s nationals condemning the actor and his team for the move. The anger raged further after news emerged that a trademark application for the word J’ouvert for use on the product had been made with the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Jordan’s team later made the decision to change the name of the rum.
Separately, LaLa’s decision to don the Carnival costume was lapped up by many of her cohorts in the entertainment industry internationally. Celebs like Chloe Bailey, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Bryant, Khloe Kardashian, Bia, Bernice Burgos and Ciara all stamping their approval beneath the images shared on Instagram.