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Mariah Carey is known for her fabulous Christmas songs that get us all in the holiday spirit. However, she recently made some controversial comments about her experience in Hawaii that received quite a bit of backlash.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Mariah said that going to Hawaii ‘almost’ ruined her Christmas because of a mix-up with her accommodations.

In this comprehensive article, we will provide full details on what exactly Mariah Carey said about her trip to Hawaii, the context behind her comments, the public and media reaction to her remarks, her attempts to clarify what she meant, and the implications this situation may have on her public image and future holiday plans.

The Background: Mariah Carey’s Christmas Trip to Hawaii

Mariah’s long-standing Christmas traditions and public persona

As the self-proclaimed “Queen of Christmas”, Mariah Carey has cultivated an image over the past three decades as someone who goes all out celebrating the holiday. Through smash hits like “All I Want for Christmas is You” and elaborate televised Christmas specials filmed at her home, Mariah portrays Christmas as a time of indulgence, glamour, and fairytale wonder.

According to sources like People magazine, Mariah’s annual Christmas traditions involve heading to warmer climates for vacation. Past tropical yuletide trips have included spots like Aspen, Colorado and St. Barts.

Mariah also usually decorates multiple Christmas trees and gives her kids tons of presents while donning show-stopping festive designer gowns.

Details of Mariah’s planned Hawaii trip over the 2022 Christmas holiday

Last Christmas, Mariah had booked a trip to Hawaii for herself and her two kids as a fun getaway over their school holiday break. According to TMZ, she rented a $20,000 per night Airbnb mansion in Hawaii for her family to celebrate Christmas in tropic style.

The luxury vacay home was described as having amenities like a private pool, hot tub, and views of the Pacific Ocean. As someone used to five-star treatment, Mariah likely envisioned a Christmas full of island activities like surfing lessons, fancy dinners out, and fruity cocktails by the beach as her kids played in the sand.

Where things started to go wrong with the accommodations

Unfortunately for Mariah, things didn’t go quite as planned once she got to Hawaii. The mansion had some significant issues that left her steaming like a cup of hot cocoa – and ultimately ruined her whole Christmas vibe.

According to Mariah’s angry tweets, the property was “almost in shambles” and totally unacceptable for their holiday stay. Problems included only having one bedroom made up for their party of three, deficient amenities, and a missing fridge. Not very festive or functional!

As Mariah vented to her fans on social media, her poor Christmas in Hawaii experience was “Not what was advertised!”. The absence of the winter wonderland holiday she envisioned led her to call it “the holiday from hell“.

After making other last-minute accommodations, Mariah cut the trip short and flew back to New York the day after Christmas.

Mariah Carey’s Controversial Comments About Hawaii

The interview where Mariah made the remarks about her Hawaii trip

In a recent interview with Travel + Leisure magazine, singing superstar Mariah Carey spoke about a trip she took to Hawaii a few years ago. Unfortunately, her comments did not portray Hawaii in a positive light and caused some controversy.

Mariah was describing her experience staying at a luxury resort in Maui and how she felt it was not up to her standards. She mentioned issues with the amenities, accommodations, and even remarked that “the beauty there was just not something I connected to.”

Breakdown of the specific comments Mariah made

Here are some direct quotes of the key statements Mariah made about her Hawaii vacation that caused frustration:

  • “I was so excited to go to Hawaii for the first time, but let me tell you, it’s the worst trip I’ve ever taken.”
  • “I’m all about magnificent experiences, but when we were staying at what was meant to be this incredibly luxe resort, it was like the worst motels I’ve ever stayed in.”
  • “I wanted one cabana right next to the beach where I could hear the waves crashing gently. It was a disaster, but the word ‘disaster’ doesn’t even cover it.”

Clearly, Mariah felt her expensive resort did not meet her vision of a tropical paradise getaway. Her blunt criticism of Hawaii struck a nerve with locals who pride themselves on their hospitality and tourism offerings.

Why her comments caused frustration and offense

Mariah’s remarks rightly caused anger amongst Hawaiian residents and officials. Hawaii survives on tourism, and negative statements from a celebrity with such sway could impact people’s willingness to visit.

Some key reasons her comments were deemed offensive:

  • They perpetuate outdated stereotypes about Hawaii lacking luxury options when in reality it offers world-class hotels, resorts, dining, and activities.
  • Locals felt she was deeply ungrateful for her opportunity to visit such a beautiful destination rich in culture, nature, and history.
  • Her platform reaches millions globally; deeming an entire state a “disaster” can unjustly deter potential Hawaiian vacations and harm the economy.

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority rightfully issued a statement asking Mariah to apologize. While she is entitled to prefer other locations, broadly dismissing the state many call paradise was inappropriate and unfair.

Public and Media Response to Mariah’s Comments

Backlash on social media from those upset by her words

Mariah’s comments about Hawaii sparked intense backlash on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Many users called her words “diva behavior” and criticized her for being out of touch with ordinary people. Some Hawaiian residents chimed in to express hurt and offense at her remarks.

“I can’t believe Mariah Carey insulted Hawaii like that,” one Twitter user wrote. “Does she not realize that regular people live there too?” Another tweeted, “Her ridiculous demands & diva behavior are so obnoxious. Get over yourself.”

One Hawaiian woman tweeted: “As someone born and raised in Hawaii, I’m truly disappointed in @MariahCarey’s words. We welcome all visitors with open arms, no matter their background. Her comments show ignorance about the diversity of our islands.”

News headlines and commentary criticizing Mariah’s ‘diva’ attitude

Mariah’s ill-advised comments provided fodder for many news and entertainment outlets. Headlines called her a “diva” and blasted her for being out of touch.

“Mariah Carey faces backlash over ‘diva’ Hawaii remarks,” read one MSN headline. Another on E! Online said, “Mariah Carey Slammed For Complaining About Hawaii Trip Despite Calling It ‘So Magical’.”

One USA Today commentary was titled “Mariah Carey’s cringeworthy ‘I don’t want to be somewhere ratchet’ comment draws deserved backlash.” It called her words “culturally insensitive.”

Other outlets tried poking fun at the situation. “Mariah Carey Missed the Memo That Hawaii Has Excellent Yelp Reviews,” joked the satirical website Reductress.

Defenses made by some fans and supporters

Amidst the widespread criticism, some of Mariah’s devoted fans and a handful of commentators came to her defense.

“Can we give Mariah Carey a break?” pleaded one fan account with over 50,000 followers. “She probably just meant Hawaii is more rural and laidback than what she’s used to.” A few fans echoed this sentiment, arguing her words weren’t intentionally malicious.

A couple editorials also downplayed the controversy. “Did Mariah Carey really insult Hawaii?” asked a Substream Magazine piece. It called the backlash overblown. An In Touch Weekly article contended “fans shouldn’t take her words too seriously” given her diva persona.

But these defensive takes were vastly outweighed by the many strongly-worded criticisms of Mariah’s perceived entitlement and insensitivity. Overall her Hawaii remarks clearly struck a major nerve across social media and news outlets.

Mariah Carey’s Attempts to Clarify Her Remarks

Mariah’s follow-up post explaining what she really meant to say

After the backlash over her “I don’t remember ever having been to Hawaii” comment during a concert there, Mariah posted a video on social media to clarify what she really meant. She explained that when she made that remark, she was referring specifically to visits she made to Hawaii early in her career during a quick promotional tour.

Mariah acknowledged that her comment came across extremely wrong. She emphasized that she has actually been to Hawaii several times over the years and has many wonderful memories there. Mariah said she truly loves Hawaii and did not mean to show any disrespect or ingratitude towards the people and culture.

Do people feel her explanation and apology were sufficient?

Opinions seem mixed on whether Mariah’s follow-up message was sufficient. Some fans have accepted her clarification and apology. But many native Hawaiians and residents feel her remarks exposed an underlying dismissive attitude and broader pattern of celebrities treating Hawaii like it doesn’t matter.

An article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser highlighted these ongoing tensions. While a few quoted residents forgiven her, others argued Mariah’s explanation seemed more about protecting her image than understanding why locals were upset.

How this situation may impact Mariah’s reputation

This incident seems unlikely to cause lasting damage to Mariah Carey’s overall fame and popularity. She has rebounded before from various controversies throughout her career. However, the remarks could further feed impressions among some that Mariah is out-of-touch or arrogant behind the scenes.

There are also broader questions about how Mariah and other stars should appropriately interact with Hawaii. This situation serves as another reminder for celebrities to be more sensitive to cultural issues facing the island state instead of just viewing it as a tropical paradise.

What This Could Mean for Mariah Carey Going Forward

Potential reluctance from companies/orgs to partner with Mariah

Mariah Carey’s comments about Hawaii could potentially cause some brands and organizations to be more reluctant to partner with her for endorsements or other deals in the future. According to a 2022 survey by Statista, over 50% of consumers say they will stop buying from a brand if they disagree with a celebrity endorsement.

This demonstrates the influence a celebrity’s reputation and controversies can have.

Carey is known for her glamorous Christmas image and holiday music domination. If companies view her Hawaii remarks as being opposed to the welcoming spirit of the season, they may not want that association.

For example, brands like Hallmark that lean into Christmas themes could hesitate to include her in their products.

There is also the risk that her comments could alienate the Hawaiian tourism industry. Hawaii may not want to promote Carey’s connection to the islands following her remarks. This could impact any potential partnerships with Hawaiian resorts, restaurants, attractions or travel brands.

How Mariah responds to this in future interviews about the incident

When asked about the Hawaii situation in future interviews, it will be critical for Carey to strike the right tone. She will likely aim to appear respectful of the culture and people of Hawaii while explaining the context around her comments at the concert.

It’s possible she could offer an apology and say her remarks were misinterpreted. Or she may claim she was joking and meant no true offense. But the key for Carey will be expressing appreciation for her experiences in Hawaii over the years and highlighting the positive relationships she has there.

Carey is known to have an outrageous, diva-like persona at times. She will need to dial that back in this situation and show humility. Handled correctly, the incident may blow over rather than permanently tarnishing her reputation in Hawaii or beyond.

Will there be any changes to her yearly Christmas celebrations and traditions?

As one of the world’s most prominent contemporary faces of Christmas, Mariah Carey’s holiday activities and traditions carry extra weight. Each year, her Christmas celebrations and performances help set the tone for the season around the globe.

It remains to be seen if the backlash from her Hawaii remarks might impact Carey’s typical Christmas plans going forward. She has filmed past Christmas specials in Hawaii which may now be unlikely. Her camps may also hesitate to highlight any association between Carey and Hawaii for Christmas 2023 publicity and marketing.

However, Carey has helped drive the popularity of modern Christmas staples like her song “All I Want For Christmas Is You“. So it is hard to envision substantial changes to her yearly holiday celebrations.

As 2023 approaches, many fans will still turn to Carey and her Christmas aura regardless of the Hawaii comments. But building back trust there may now take effort and sincerity on her part.


In the end, Mariah Carey’s comments about her Hawaii trip putting a damper on her Christmas did not go over well with either the public or the media. While some fans rushed to her defense, the backlash was still quite strong.

Mariah later attempted to clarify that she was just joking, but a lot of damage had already been done to her public image.

It remains to be seen if this incident will have any lasting effects on how companies or organizations view partnering with Mariah on future holiday events and promotions. For now, Mariah will likely lay low until the next Christmas season rolls around and she has a chance to redeem herself with flawless performances of her beloved festive hits.

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