Olivia Rodrigo blew up social media with her comments on her understanding of pop music stardom. The singer said that she thought that the only way to be a success was to be white.
“Like just thinking about it. I feel like I grew up never seeing that. Also, it was always like, ‘Popstar,’ that’s a white girl,” Rodrigo said in a Q&A interview with V magazine.
The interesting part about Rodrigo’s comments is that she is a white.
Her father is of Filipino descent. Her mother is German and Irish. Her great-grandfather emigrated to the states, and her family practices Filipino traditions.
It bears noting that when Rodrigo was asked how her experience was as an Asian-American pop star, she responded that it is incredible to think about and claimed that she gets DMs from little girls who say they have never seen someone who looks like her in that position.
However, for all intents and purposes, Rodrigo is white. Yes, her last name is Rodrigo. Many Filipinos have Spanish surnames because the Philippines were conquered by Spain. Spain is in Europe. Spaniards are white.
With that said, Black Twitter was not allowing the well over 50 percent white pop star to get away with her attempt to escape her obvious whiteness.
First, the obvious.
Olivia Rodrigo is a white girl.
Stop it. https://t.co/DYK0Y7fXr0
— ashley yates (@brownblaze) August 30, 2021
Next, the intellectual.
America is the only country in the world where Olivia Rodrigo would not be considered white.
— Neil Nawaz (@NeilNawaz) August 29, 2021
Hispanics & Filipinos need to understand that it doesn’t matter what ethnicity you technically are, the only thing that matters is how the world perceives you. So even if you’re filipino (like Olivia Rodrigo is) if you’re pale skinned you might as well be White https://t.co/mlutyALfgc
— Coleman (@__lvrboy) August 30, 2021
Now, we’ll address the glaring error in Rodrigo believing that only white people could skyrocket in pop: all of the non-white pop stars that came and reigned before her.
So true @Olivia_Rodrigo: Whitney Houston, @MariahCarey, @Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, @DianaRoss, Michael Jackson, @StevieWonder, @smokeyrobinson, James Brown, and hundreds of other legendary black singers were all white girls. https://t.co/QUm3Zl1Z8p
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) August 29, 2021
Another singer seeks to boost her career on fabricating racism in culture. Look at all these “white” Popstars I never saw or heard! Nina Simone, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Joan Armatrading, Beyonce, Rihanna, Shirley Bassey, Aretha Franklinhttps://t.co/i2KIijimUO
— Steven Woolfe (@Steven_Woolfe) August 29, 2021
— AG (@MyMDSoapbox) August 30, 2021
Pop as popular music goes back to 50’s 60’s and im sure poc were recognised and revered
— Brewstermonk (@Brewstermonk1) August 30, 2021
James Brown is not intersectional and is the white people of Black singer people. You still don’t get how this works.
— Doktor Zewz (Pronouns: Ķ!ęřƃƍ / Ķ!ęƴɀȿɐȵɖɮ) (@DoktorZewz) August 30, 2021
Olivia Rodrigo said she only thought white girls could be pop stars? Stares in Rihanna. pic.twitter.com/otr5Twrfoi
— AWORKINGWARDROBE℠ (@awrkngwardrobe) August 30, 2021
We’ll give her some credit for only being 18 years old and probably more adept at social media than music history. But Rodrigo obviously forgot about Beyonce, Rihanna, SZA and the other non-white people with two non-white parents who have ridden the charts to the moon. In fact, Black people built pop music.
Then again, maybe she did not forget. Perhaps she just erased them, as white people are known to do.