The African Entertainment Awards is facing backlash for an award they gave J. Balvin.
Even though he’s not Black, J. Balvin was given the 2021 Afro-Latino artist of the year award. He’s a native of Medellín, Colombia. The “In Da Getto” rapper responded to his backlash after getting the recognition. He wrote the message in Spanish, and in English, it says,
“I am not Afro-Latino, but thank you for giving me a place in the contribution of Afrobeat music and entertainment,” The Jasmine Brand reports. Take a look:
Social media reactions:
J Balvin was walking black woman on leashes in a music video this year and then just won the Afro Latino award?!
— SNACKS PERRY (@MetaSnacks) December 27, 2021
gonna need the african entertainment awards to gatekeep blackness a lil more coz how tf they gave j balvin white as shit ass a afrolatino artist of the year award. sech and ozuna are right there??? and are actually black????
— not his peace, hispanic (@bad_dominicana) December 27, 2021
AEA released a statement and said, this category is,”for the people who have contributed to the African culture [and] not based on your race [but] based on your contribution to the African culture.” He added,
“Our category is not based on color. It’s based on again, the contribution from these artists who are contributing to the African culture. Yes, you can be black-Latino and be nominated. Just like you can be white-Latino and be nominated. Just like we have black and white Africans. You know, that’s how we see it.”
Ultimately, the African Entertainment Awards renamed the category the Best Latin Artist award.