Miley Cyrus Reacted to Criticism That She Exploited Black People for Profit

Miley Cyrus has been in the spotlight since her early teens. While the singer has gotten her fair share of praise, she’s also received tons of criticism over the course of her career. One of the biggest criticisms that the “Malibu” singer has faced is that she has been a perpetrator of cultural appropriation. The Hannah Montana alum has been accused of exploiting Black artists and hip-hop culture for personal gain.

Miley Cyrus performs music on stage in a Black leotard
Miley Cyrus | Mauricio Santana/Getty Images

Long-time fans of Cyrus may recall one of her most popular albums, Bangerz. The 2013 alum marked Cyrus’ fourth studio album and showcased the artist testing out a new sound. The genres featured on Bangerz are primarily pop, hip hop, and R&B. It was also heavily produced by Mike Will Made It.

The ‘Hannah Montana’ alum reacts to criticism that she exploited Black people for her music

While Bangerz received a ton of commercial success, Cyrus also received a ton of backlash for it. Many people felt that she was capitalizing on the hard work of Black people and passing it off as her own. The Root even wrote that the “Malibu” singer’s music exploited Black people for profit.

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But how did Cyrus feel about the criticism she received? In an interview with NPR, the Black Mirror alum shared that while she respected the criticism, she simply did not agree. “I respect that,” Cyrus admitted. “And I can’t tell you that that’s my intention. So I always feel, you know, apologetic and sympathetic, you know, and – to those who feel a way. But, you know, that’s not my intention, so I can’t say that I agree.”

Cyrus apologized for her 2017 comments about hip-hop

Of course, that wasn’t the only time that Cyrus faced backlash and was accused of exploitation. In 2017, while promoting her country-pop album, Younger Now, Cyrus ruffled a few feathers once more. She shared that she had to take a step back from hip-hop because it focused too much on material things and overt sexuality. Soon after her statements, Cyrus was called out for condemning a culture only after she’d heavily profited from it.

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For her part, Cyrus did apologize for her statements via social media. After a YouTuber called her out about her comments, she shared that her words were “insensitive.” She also communicated that it was a privilege for her to be able to dip in and out of the hip-hop scene. The “Midnight Sky” singer also shared that she was committed to continuing to educate herself on the matter.

“My words became a divider in a time where togetherness and unity is crucial,” Cyrus penned. “I f***** up and I sincerely apologize. I’m committed to using my voice for healing, change, and standing up for what is right.” It certainly seems as if Cyrus has changed her tune over the course of her career. We’re sure her fans are interested in seeing what musical genres she explores next.

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