Blake Lively has once again been accused of racial insensitivity by posting an Instagram selfie from the Cannes red carpet, captioned with the words “LA face with an Oakland booty.” The photo, uploaded Tuesday, shows side-by-side images of Lively, 28, in a shiny gold dress. On the left, we see the actress facing front with her smiling face and flowing, blonde locks. On the right, we see a view of her shapely rear, maybe made more shapely by the fact she is pregnant. For the caption, Lively apparently borrowed from rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1993 hit “Baby Got Back,” with the line that’s meant to celebrate black women’s bodies, according to the Huffington Post. But that cultural reference didn’t sit well with many on Twitter and Instagram who pointed out the problem of such a caption coming from a wealthy and famous white woman. “Another day, another rich white woman using WOC’s bodies as a punchline and commodity. As if Blake Lively wasn’t the worst already,” tweeted @katbee Another person, tweeting from Manhattan, said: “Wow I’m so disappointed in myself for liking Blake Lively. You can never trust the whites.” @HellaBootsv asked “Has Blake Lively even been to Oakland??” Lively is in Cannes to promote the new Woody Allen film “Cafe Society,” in which she co-stars. She has made her elegantly dressed figure, with its baby bump, a red carpet fixture at the ultraglamorous French Riviera film festival.
The fury over Lively’s Oakland reference was followed by reports Wednesday that presumed GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump may have been engaging in his own form of racism — passive or not — by telling the New York Times that he thinks Oakland and Ferguson are just as dangerous as Iraq. As for Lively, Jezebel writer J.E. Reich said this isn’t the first time she’s been caught engaging in “passive racism.” If you remember, Lively, the wife of actor Ryan Reynolds, caught all sorts of backlash for her failed lifestyle website, Preserve, which was accused of romanticizing the slavery-owning Antebellum South and of celebrating the allure of the classic (white) Southern Belle. This time, Reich said, Lively is setting up a diametrical opposition by pitting Los Angeles against Oakland, a city with a sizable African-American population. That opposition, according to Reich, is that Los Angeles is “equated to elegance and/or beauty (read: whiteness), and Oakland is its foil (read: blackness).” Then again, as the Huffington Post points out, Lively isn’t the first white female celebrity to appropriate this line to draw attention to her physical assets. Back in July 2012, Katy Perry tweeted out the line, “LA face with an Oakland booty.” Khloe Kardashian did as well nine months ago.