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Too Little, Too Late: The Cut Deletes Racist, Sexist Article Tearing Into Priyanka And Nick’s Marriage

  • IWB Post
  •  December 6, 2018

Weddings have a reputation for bringing out the worst in people, and one of the biggest weddings of the year, that of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, was no exception. But for a small adjustment. While this wedding did not turn any of the relatives into monsters, it ticked off one Mariah Smith so much that she went on a racist, sexist, puerile rant against the couple on The Cut.

Smith wrote an article titled Is Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ Love for Real? for The Cut day before yesterday, and even promoted it on her Twitter, in which she argued that Priyanka is a scam artist who went to Hollywood and seduced gullible little Nick into marrying her before he could even process what was happening. “Nicholas Jonas married into a fraudulent relationship against his will this past Saturday, December the 1st, and I’ll tell you why I think so,” began the piece. It portrayed Priyanka as an ageing foreign superstar who needed a white man to save her Hollywood career. It could have been Tom Hiddleston, but it ended up being Nick, it said.

Khushbu Shah on Twitter

also congrats to @TheCut for publishing the single most sexist and frankly xenophobic take on the priyanka/Jonas wedding?! Priyanka has had an extremely productive and successful career and she is doing nick Jonas a favor by marrying him.

When I first read the premise of the article, I thought the author was going for a satire on our obsession with celebrity relationships. But two sentences in, I wasn’t sure if she wanted to insult all of India or just Priyanka. After writing every possible offensive thing about Priyanka, Smith attacked Indian weddings and scoffed at how long and OTT they are. No one is denying that, especially Indians. We have never apologised for it, nor did Priyanka. She told Vogue that people will need a vacation after this wedding, and she has delivered exactly that. Except the person most in need of said vacation is now Smith.

There is so much that is wrong with The Cut article, but the most glaring problem is that Smith starts with a hypothesis and then does nothing to prove it. She thinks Priyanka tricked Nick into marrying her, but she has no arguments to support this. She does not do even the most cursory research about Priyanka’s superstardom or the very lucrative Indian film industry or even Indian wedding rituals before mocking them all. It’s fine that she doesn’t believe that this relationship is real, that is beside the point, but to think that both parties were not 100% on board with whatever this is is rich.

Smith also took issue with Nickyanka monetising this wedding and sharing photos and videos from every single ceremony on social media. Hollywood and the people writing thinkpieces on it might not know this, but India is having a big year in terms of celebrity weddings. We’ve been through this with Sonam-Anand, very recently with Deepika-Ranveer, and now Nickyanka. And even we’re not complaining this bitterly about being inundated with these pictures, not even when our mothers are emotionally blackmailing us to get married because “ab toh Deepika aur Priyanka ki bhi shaadi ho gayi.”

Besides, when was the last time a South Asian woman took over western media like this? When was the last time the world had to sit up and take notice of how Indian weddings work? We live in times of growing racism and xenophobia, so what made Smith think it was a good idea to shit on a woman of colour taking centre stage at her own damn wedding?

The backlash to the article has been swift, with Nick’s brother Joe and his fiance Sophie Turner weighing in along with Sonam Kapoor and Swara Bhasker.

Sonam K Ahuja on Twitter

For a publication that “shows women’s what they are made of” @TheCut has a lot to answer for . The article on @priyankachopra was sexist , racist and disgusting. Also it’s written by a woman which is so sad. It reeks of envy and bitterness. @mRiah shame on you! https://t.co/bmbbX7LrAT

Swara Bhasker on Twitter

Depressed with the state of the world & current affairs? Here’s some good ol’ fashioned puerile filth published by @TheCut 2 add some pointless venom 2 ur day. Also someone invite @mRiah to an Indian wedding 🙄🙄🙄 Might assuage some of her misguided angst! #yellowjournalism https://t.co/3q8cPMElrp

Sophie Turner on Twitter

This is wildly inappropriate and totally disgusting. Very disappointed that The Cut would give anyone a platform to spew such bullshit. https://t.co/iYKaifKJP6

J O E J O N A S on Twitter

This is disgusting. @TheCut should be ashamed to have someone write such evil words. What Nick & Pri have is Beautiful Love. Thank u, Next. https://t.co/G3hvXmhm9O

After the initial Twitter storm, The Cut revised their article and removed the word scam from it. Later, they deleted the article and said that it didn’t meet their standards. Now, much too late, they’ve issued an apology that reads: Last night, the Cut published a post about Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s relationship that shouldn’t have gone up. We’ve received dozens of messages from readers expressing their anger. We want you to know that we hear you and we’re sorry. The whole piece missed the mark. There is no good explanation for this other than human error and poor judgement. This was a mistake, and we apologize to our readers and to Priyanka and Nick.

Priyanka has also responded to the article in her quintessential nonchalant fashion. She said, “I don’t even want to react or comment. It’s not even in my stratosphere. I’m in a happy place at this moment. These kinds of random things can’t disturb it.”

On Twitter, The Cut says it’s “showing the world what women are made of,” and it has consistently championed women’s rights and written thoughtful and funny articles over the years. So it’s a surprise that this sort of poor judgement was made there in the first place. What can be the human error here other than the fact that the internalised racism and misogyny was super strong among the people who handled this piece?

It’s in bad taste to discuss who was out of whose league in this relationship, but let’s not forget the facts. Nick Jonas is 26, not a child. Priyanka Chopra is a superstar. Nick is a former Disney star. Priyanka’s net worth is more than Nick’s. That is all Smith needed to know before tearing into the couple and if she’d spoken to even one Indian person about it, she might have gotten all she needed.

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