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.
But apparently not!
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.
Seemingly trying to connect with Marley, judge Jason Derulo showed off some Sāmoan tattoos and said his security guard is Sāmoan.
And then! Rita said, "I'm married to half a Sāmoan man, so..."
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.
But the real problem here is that Taika Waititi is not actually Sāmoan. He's Māori.
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.
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
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
...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
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