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

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
Daniele Venturelli / WireImage / Getty Images

But apparently not!

Taika and Rita pose for photographers on the red carpet
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

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
Seven Network / Via youtube.com

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
Seven Network / Via youtube.com

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

Closeup of Rita Ora
Seven Network / Via youtube.com



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
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

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

Closeup of Taika Waititi
Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images

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

Taika has also been open about his own background. His father was Māori, his mother is Jewish, and he calls himself a Polynesian Jew. As far as I know, he's never mentioned a single thing about being Sāmoan.

Arturo Holmes / FilmMagic / Getty Images

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:

He spent his whole career telling innovative Maori stories, and advocating for native voices and storytelling on the big screenAnd his wife doesn't even know he's MaoriDid they even have a conversation before getting married?!https://t.co/TVqL5YmjAA

— Vehia Wheeler (@_vehia_) August 26, 2023

Don Arnold /  Getty Images /  Twitter: @_vehia_

Others were just appalled:

Hearing that rita ora called Taika half Samoan...girl

— Rok Azira 🪶✡️ 🖤 (@vampyrctwink) August 25, 2023

Twitter: @vampyrctwink

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

If my spouse mis-identified my heritage...I'd be pissed...

— evilspacealien (@evilspacealien) August 25, 2023

Twitter: @evilspacealien

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

Us Indigenous people are used to this... usually not by our spouses

— evilspacealien (@evilspacealien) August 27, 2023

Twitter: @evilspacealien

Many made jokes about their marriage:

hard not to at some level admire the all-consuming horniness of a marriage that is so manifestly zero conversation, 100% sex haze https://t.co/lKIDrLiLv0

— Mairéad Ó (@oh_mardi) August 26, 2023

Seven Network / Twitter: @oh_mardi

And this person thought the whole situation was embarrassing:

Did Rita ora really say that her husband is half samoan? That's... embarrassing

— Laiga (@APFML27) August 24, 2023

Twitter: @APFML27

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

Closeup of Rita Ora
Seven Network / Via youtube.com