Jessica Simpson Under Fire for Saying "Indian Giver"

Celebrity News Jul. 29, 2009 AT 3:39PM
Jessica Simpson Jessica Simpson attends the Joe Simpson Presents An-Ya Candy Shop CD single release party on July 27, 2009 West Hollywood, CA. Credit: Derek Steele/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic

Jessica Simpson has put her foot in her mouth again.

This time, the 29-year-old singer - who famously confused tuna with chicken because the label said "Chicken of the Sea" - has outraged some in the Native American community for using a racial stereotype.

Earlier this week, TMZ.com asked Simpson if she would be taking back the expensive boat she bought for ex Tony Romo. Her reply? "I'm not an Indian giver."

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"I am shocked she said that. I didn't know people still said that," one person wrote on the website, theforumsite. "She will be apologizing ... there is outrage." Added another TMZ.com commenter: "I'm a Native American and I cringed when I heard Jessica Simpson comment about us Native Americans. Am I mad!?! I should be, but look at who the comment is coming from."

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A third chimed in: "As a Native American, in particular a Dakota, I find those comments quite sad and stereotypical. But not surprising, if you look who said them."

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Jacqueline L. Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, tells Usmagazine.com Simpson isn't the only person who uses the word in a derogatory sense.

The concept of Indians giving and sharing with one another is where the term originated, she explains, but has somehow morphed into an insensitive phrase that stereotypes Native people as ones who give and then take back.

"Most people flippantly use the comment 'Indian giver' without realizing its true meaning, Pata tells Us.

Pata says Simpson's latest gaffe could be "a good chance to educate people not to stereotype Native Americans by using a comment this is both incorrect in the way most people use it, and culturally insensitive to Native people."

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