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Rita Ora accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ and ‘blackfishing’ after fans learn of her Albanian heritage

RITA Ora has been accused of “cultural appropriation” and “blackfishing” after fans learned that she isn’t black.

The 29-year-old star has always been open about her Albanian heritage, but a tweet made earlier this week about her ethnicity has gone viral after shocking fans.

Sharing a photo of Rita posing with her mum and dad, as well as snaps of the singer with her hair in braids and an afro, the Twitter user wrote: “Finding out Rita Ora isn’t black at all and both of her parents are white Albanians is so trippy.

“The girl’s BEEN blackfishing.”

They later added: “Like the girl isn’t black in the slightest this is kinda freaking me out. White women really slip into black personas so easily.”

The original post, which was made on Monday [9 August] has so far racked up over 22,000 retweets and more than 110k likes.

Replying to the tweet, fans shared their shock as they went on to accuse Rita of “cultural appropriation” and “blackfishing” – a term used to describe people who change their hair and make-up to appear black online.

One wrote: “All this cultural appropriation ain’t cool @ritaora”.

Another added: “Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally bamboozled by a black fishing white woman.”

A third seethed: “Hold up. I thought she was AT LEAST 1/4 black”.

However, others leapt to Rita’s defence – pointing out that she often speaks about her Albanian roots, and how her family fled war-torn Kosovo when she was a child, seeking refuge in the UK.

They also pointed out that the snaps being shared were five years old – and Rita no longer styles her hair in that way.

A fan shared throwback photos of Rita from her youth, explaining: “This is what she looked like when she was young.

“She’s always been an ethnic Albanian girl with a tan and never changed her features or anything. She’s always been a loud and proud Albanian.”

Another wrote: “Imagine unapologetically slagging someone based on your own misinformation? Rita Ora has been very outspoken about being an Albanian refugee.

“Any assumptions you made about her ethnicity are not on her. Accuse her of cultural appropriation if you must but blackfishing??? Nah.”

One more ranted: “Who are the dumbasses who thought Rita Ora was black? She never claimed to be black or even mixed. She told @WendyWilliams she was Albanian on her show.

“Morons be judging people based on their hairstyles and then crying ‘cultural appropriation’ later when they learn the truth.”

In April of this year, Rita opened up about “escaping persecution” as her family joined the million other Albanians who escaped the country during a decade-long war.

She also speaks out about visiting Albania as often as she can, and was even named an honorary ambassador of Kosovo at the London embassy in 2015.

In 2016, Rita admitted that she often gets confused for mixed race during an appearance on the Wendy Williams’ Show.

The host had said: “I thought you were half-Black and half-white, or something like that?”

Rita replied: “Everybody usually does. I might as well be. But no, I’m Albanian.”

The Sun Online have contacted Rita’s rep for comment.

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