Willow Smith slammed for ‘racist’ & ‘Islamophobic’ content in debut book
24 February 2022, 16:54
The artist and author has been labelled 'racist' and 'Islamophobic' over an excerpt in her forthcoming book 'Black Shield Maiden'.
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Willow Smith has come under fire for 'racist and islamophobic' content in her debut book titled 'Black Shield Maiden'.
The 21-year-old artist-turned-author has received backlash after excerpts of her debut novel was released to the public.
The novel, which is set to to land on October 4th, is about a a kidnapped female African warrior who was forced to live in a community of Vikings.
Smith co-authored with Jess Handel.
After Penguin Books (the fiction novel’s publisher) shared an excerpt from the book with hopes of promoting the book, it quickly backfired with many critics claiming it has racist and islamophobic content.
The excerpt read:
“The Amazigh are dangerous on their best day. They have little regard for anyone who doesn’t worship the Muslim god — and even their own tribes are always at war with one another.”
Many critics felt like the description did not represent the real-life Amazigh people, adding that there is racist and islamophobic messages in the message.
One critic took to Twitter and wrote: "Why the f**k does Willow Smith hate my people? Like this weird and specific and not ok, and I hate that this bigoted fictional character is gonna be the first introduction to Amazigh culture a lot of American audiences will experience."
A second user wrote: "The representation of Amazigh people in Willow Smith and Jess Hendel's forthcoming fantasy novel is unacceptable. @PenguinUKBooks should have hired sensitivity readers before publishing this book."
Another added: "Portraying Amazigh tribes as dangerous, thieves, murderers in your book is a shame. Your father has been welcome in Morocco like a prince. Amazigh people is one of the most peaceful people in the world, you portrayed them as savages. Shame on you !"
One user sarcastically wrote: "Me on my way to be a dangerous and savage amazigh who likes to do dangerous and savage things because willow smith and there yt co-writer said so".
See fans reactions below.
Tell me I’m not crazy for being horrified by how the Amazigh (indigenous North African group) & Muslims are portrayed (third pic) this is a preview from Willow Smith’s new fantasy book (first pic)- I saw EXPLICIT Muslim rep (second pic) & thought omg so cool! Then I read on 😭 pic.twitter.com/VEhSs8keuv— S. Mughal / سدرة (@readswithsid) February 19, 2022
willow smith when asked who are the amazigh during the press tour of her book about the amazigh— wassim'ˣ (@taylordspatrol) February 22, 2022
So no one gonna call out Willow smith for what she said in her book about amazigh and Muslims ?— Rija ♈︎ (@GreenRija) February 23, 2022
So willow smith writes a book and insults Muslims and amazigh. Girl you should educate yourself and if you have common sense delete the book and never publish it— LiLGeekette 🎗 (@LiLGeekette) February 22, 2022
@OfficialWillow who the hell do you think you are depicting my people (the amazigh people) as lawless and violent savages?! Absolutely disgusting and borderline offensive!!!! pic.twitter.com/cwuKY6UxOP— Jane Doe (@Tanit1888) February 21, 2022
Genuinely disgusted but not surprised. Amazigh people aren't hurting everyone yet we keep getting dragged into crap like this and called savages or barbaric as if any indigenous group needs more of that. Worse yet, coming from a fellow POC 🤢 @OfficialWillow shame on you— Fatima Ammar - ⴼⴰⵜⵉⵎⴰ (@MoonieNoire) February 22, 2022