After showbiz personalities Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia posted their pre-wedding photos with Ethiopian children and women in the background, netizens drew outrage on social media asserting they used locals of the African nation as ‘props’.
Coleen Garcia and Billy Crawford (Photo via Instagram/Manila Bulletin)
The celebrity couple had their photoshoot in Lalibela, Ethiopia. The pre-nup photographs exhibit the two wearing colorful outfits with locals either surrounding them or at the back.
While some were astounded at their grand photoshoot, others were quite dismayed that the engaged couple used villagers as a backdrop.
Coleen Garcia and Billy Crawford poses with Ethiopian locals surrounding them (Photo via Instagram/Manila Bulletin)
In a Twitter post, user @aidbcd said “What makes the Billy-Coleen prenup shoot problematic is that it used people from ethnic groups as props, as their background while they're wearing expensive dresses, flaunting their privilege over these groups. Like indirectly saying they're better than these people.”
Another twitter user, @headeyisms, said “go on and tell me that coleen garcia and billy crawford's prenup photos are not distasteful and culturally insensitive. i dare you.”
Meanwhile, in a report by CNN Philippines, photographer Oly Ruiz addressed the criticisms saying, “We talked to these people and even asked permission. It’s actually offensive for people to interpret them as props… Why slaves? Because they are Africans? Dapat ba pinag gown din namin sila? (Should we have made them wear gowns?) These people are beautiful, how they are shot is how they are in real life, if you see them as slaves then I feel bad for you.”
The engaged couple are set to the tie the knot in April.