Bad Bunny: Latinx social justice fighter quiet on Black Lives Matter
Bad Bunny has been vocal about trans rights in Puerto Rico, but silent so far on the current Black Lives Matter movement
Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, otherwise known by his stage name Bad Bunny, is at this point an icon in reggaeton from Puerto Rico. With 27.1 million followers on Instagram and 1.9 million on Twitter, he has a very large platform, and many fans are expecting him to use it for good, especially now. Bad Bunny has been vocal about issues like homophobia and transphobia, but so far he has been completely silent about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the Black Lives Matter protests occurring around the world.
In Bad Bunny’s recent music video, “Yo Perreo Sola,” he dressed in drag to make a statement about women’s rights, asserting they are an issue for everyoneHe also wanted to start a conversation about LGBTQ rights in the Latinx community, which typically shies away from the topics.
At his performance on the Tonight Show in February, he paid tribute to a transgender woman, Alexa Negrón Luciano, who was murdered in Puerto Rico. He wore a long black skirt and a t-shirt read “Mataron a Alexa, no a un hombre con falda,” which translates to “they killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.”
He has been vocal about homophobia, gender roles and women’s rights, so it seems like standing up for the Black community would come naturally, but he hasn’t been active on Twitter or Instagram since May 19th, and fans are not too happy with his silence.
One commenter on Twitter said “something about Bad Bunny’s entire career being reliant on Black culture and him having the largest following in Latin music, meanwhile being completely silent this week doesn’t sit right with my spirit.” Someone else expressed their disappointment by saying: “When Puerto Rico needed help, we all supported him. Now we need him to support BLM, and he’s quiet for somebody that loves Kobe and Lebron so much.”
Another commenter said: “Black Lives Matter is a Latinx issue. Bad Bunny and company are pretty much showing a middle finger to our Afro-Latinx brothers and sisters. Their silence is loud.”
While Bad Bunny’s remained silent, there have been several celebrities that have taken a stand on social media, some even donating money to bail funds and other relief organizations.
Karol G, a Colombian Reggaeton superstar, posted a photo on Twitter of her black and white dog with the caption: “the perfect example that black and white look beautiful together. #BlackLivesMatter.”
The post got a lot of backlash and she deleted it, replacing it with a bilingual note to show her solidarity, which was received much better.
Allyship is a daily practice, and sometimes people will say the wrong thing, even when their intentions are good. But as long as people are listening, learning and correcting themselves, progress can be made. When it comes to the Reggaeton community, it’s important to remember its roots: Jamaican reggae. Profiting off of Black culture without supporting Black lives is not acceptable. And Bad Bunny fans are waiting for him to realize this.