Vampire Weekend’s Rostam criticises ‘La La Land’ for lack of minority characters

Movie-musical 'La La Land' starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling is favourite for next year's Best Picture Oscar.

Former Vampire Weekend musician Rostam Batmanglij has criticised Oscar contender La La Land for its depiction of minority groups.

Directed by Whiplash‘s Damien Chazelle, La La Land is a movie-musical about an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and a jazz musician (Ryan Gosling) who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles. Most bookmakers have it as favourite for next year’s Best Picture Oscar.

However, Batmanglij was evidently troubled by some of the film’s content when he saw it recently. “La La Land didn’t have a single gay person in it #notmylosangeles,” he wrote on Twitter last night.


He also took issue with the film’s representation of people of colour – especially John Legend’s character Keith, a successful jazz musician who Batmanglij says is portrayed as a “sellout”.

“Furthermore the people of color written into the script were not really important to the story, john legend gave a great performance but… his character was what? a sellout? who made uncool pop music?” Batmanglij wrote.

He then added: “black people invented jazz but now we need a white man to come save/preserve it? sorry this narrative doesn’t work for me in 2016.”

Batmanglij has recently scored his brother’s new Netflix show The OA, which debuted on the streaming service last Firday (December 16). Starring Brit Marling, it was also co-written by Marling alongside her frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij, Rostam’s brother.


Having left Vampire Weekend in January, he shared two new solo songs in August.