Orange Coast College Claims ‘Día de Los Muertos’ Celebration Is Cultural Appropriation

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The student government at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa College decided to cancel a “Día de Los Muertos” themed party over concerns that it would constitute “cultural appropriation.”

A planned party themed after the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos or “the Day of the Dead” has been canceled by student government leaders after concerns arose that the celebration would constitute “cultural appropriation.”

“Through conversation with faculty and students alike, the Inter-Club Council (ICC) has been made aware that the theme of “Día de Los Muertos” inadvertanely (sic) devalued a culturally important event celebrated by many of the College’s student subpopulations,” a statement from the student government read. “Additionally, due to the sale of food and other items during Coast Day, members of the campus community expressed a sense of cultural appropriation, which further exploited this culturally important event for many of our students.”

The event’s theme has been changed to the vague, “Peace, Love, and Bones.” In a statement, the school’s Inter-Club Council President David Vo asked students attending the new event to avoid any expressions that could be loosely connected to “Día de Los Muertos.”

“In order to avoid any exploitation of a culturally important event,” he wrote, “the ICC respectfully requests that student clubs and organizations do not exhibit any displays, decorations, banners, products, food, costumes, face paintings, or any symbols that may relate to Día de Los Muertos.

Pixar’s newest film release, Coco, centers on “Día de Los Muertos.” Some have argued that the film is insensitive. “Since the main people of Coco aren’t mexican/latinxs so they’re cautious to trust non-latinxs w/ a topic/holiday so important to us,” one Twitter user wrote to the movie’s direction.

“Thanks for your thoughts,” he responded. “And for the record, Coco’s writer and co-director is Latinx. As are many in the crew.”



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