A 2014 Wiggles Song Is Going Viral For Stereotyping Indian People

Connor Garel
·2-min read

We don’t usually think of The Wiggles as a site of latent controversy. The Australian children’s music group is primarily known for its impressive ability to provide indefatigable kids with songs about… well, I don’t know. Fruit salads. Hot potatoes. Doing the propeller. You get the gist. Not much to argue about here, except maybe over whether that fruit salad would really be as “yummy” as it’s advertised to be.

But in a very modern turn of events, The Wiggles have found themselves in the spotlight for reasons other than their embellishment of how good their fruit salad is. A clip of a song called “Pappadum” — which was released in 2014 and featured in an episode of “Ready, Steady, Wiggle!” called “Lachy’s Pappadum Party” — has gone viral, and many have questions about its ethnic stereotyping.

In the clip, The Wiggles tap their then-events and marketing manager, Kimberley Stapylton, to perform a song — a song for which they’ve all dressed up in traditional Indian clothing to dance and wave around papadum, which is a thin, round North Indian flatbread (one usually used for eating, rather than expressing one’s joy.)

There’s also a guest in the video: a woman, presumably of Indian descent, who dances without ever actually singing along. (Several Twitter users pointed out that her silence in the video produced an eerie atmosphere, as though she’s in a kind of “horrified trance,” but The Wiggles clarified she just wasn’t comfortable with singing.)

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