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‘La La Land’: Rostam Criticizes the Musical’s Race Narrative and Lack of Queer Characters

"The OA" composer explains his frustrations with the film.

La La Land John Legend Ryan Gosling

“La La Land”

Summit Entertainment

Many critics and fans are enamored with Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land,” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. But one artist in particular has raised concerns about the film.

In a series of tweets, singer/songwriter Rostam, formerly of indie rock band Vampire Weekend, expressed his disappointment with the roles that minority actors had in the movie and the film’s narrative. “The people of color written into the script were not really important to the story,” Rostam tweeted. “John Legend gave a great performance but his character was what? A sellout? Who made uncool pop music?”

READ MORE: Golden Globes 2017 Full Film Nominations List, ‘La La Land’ Leads Nominations With Seven Nods

In the film Legend portrays Keith, an old schoolmate of Gosling’s character Sebastian, who asks him if he wants to join his new jazz band. Sebastian says yes, and is then disappointed with the type of “jazz” the band is playing.

“Black people invented jazz but now we need a white man to come save/preserve it?” the musician continued. “Sorry this narrative doesn’t work for me in 2016.”

Furthermore, “The OA” composer also expressed that the musical “didn’t have a single gay person in it,” adding the hashtag #NotMyLosAngeles to his tweet.

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