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Rita Ora Is Facing Criticism For Getting Her Husband Taika Waititi's Ethnicity Wrong On TV

Rita said that her husband is "half a Sāmoan man." But he's Māori.

Taika Waititi and Rita Ora recently celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary. Sure, the marriage is still pretty new, but you'd think that'd be long enough to know the basics about your spouse.

Closeup of Rita Ora and Taika Waititi cuddling at an event

But apparently not!

Taika and Rita pose for photographers on the red carpet

During a recent episode of The Voice Australia, contestant Marley Sola gave a beautiful rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky." All the judges LOVED his performance, including Rita. When asked about his musical background, he shared that he grew up singing in a Sāmoan church and is part Sāmoan.

Closeup of Marley Sola

Seemingly trying to connect with Marley, judge Jason Derulo showed off some Sāmoan tattoos and said his security guard is Sāmoan.

Closeup of Jason Derulo

And then! Rita said, "I'm married to half a Sāmoan man, so..."

Closeup of Rita Ora



I'm half Sāmoan myself, and I think the phrasing here is hilarious. Rita didn't say, "My husband is half Sāmoan." She called him "half a Sāmoan man," LOL.

Closeup of Taika and Rita

But the real problem here is that Taika Waititi is not actually Sāmoan. He's Māori.

Closeup of Taika Waititi

For anyone who doesn't know, Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, the Māori-language name for New Zealand. Taika is one of the country's most celebrated filmmakers and has played a powerful role in bringing everyday Māori experiences and perspectives to the big screen. He's spoken extensively about indigenous and specifically Māori representation in cinema.

Closeup of Taika Waititi

So, I was totally shocked when Rita called her husband Sāmoan! And I wasn't the only one:

Some people pointed out that Taika has spent his entire career telling Māori stories:

Don Arnold /  Getty Images /  Twitter: @_vehia_

Others were just appalled:

Twitter: @vampyrctwink

This person said they'd be upset if their spouse couldn't correctly identify their ethnicity...

Twitter: @evilspacealien

...and that indigenous people are "used to this," but not usually from their own significant others:

Twitter: @evilspacealien

Many made jokes about their marriage:

Seven Network / Twitter: @oh_mardi

And this person thought the whole situation was embarrassing:

Twitter: @APFML27

What do you think about all this? LMK in the comments below!

Closeup of Rita Ora