Katy Perry's Big Fat Hindu Divorce?

I know that the shelf life of the average Hollywood marriage is around five months or so. But I was still quite saddened by the news that Russell Brand had filed to divorce Katy Perry shortly after their first anniversary. While most GetReligion readers probably don't read the gossip pages or celebrity news section as much as the typical reader, we should acknowledge that there's much more interest in the life of Perry than there is in what's going on in Nigeria right now. Sad, but true. And I find recent reports about Perry and Brand's looming divorce interesting from a GetReligion angle.

Take this headline and lede from the New York Daily News:

Russell Brand Katy Perry divorce has Hindu leaders angry after solemn Indian ceremony

Slammed for not taking the marriage 'seriously'

While it's relatively common in Hollywood for celebrity marriages to not last until death does them part, some Hindu leaders are taking Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s divorce very hard.

"They should have taken marriage more seriously as it is a sacred rite in Hinduism," Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism told WENN. "In Hinduism, marriage is the most important sacrament.

"If celebrities opt for a Hindu wedding, they should be prepared to adhere to the commitment, devotion, responsibility, sanctity and morals, which are attached to it."

Back when the wedding ceremony took place, I wondered whether it was accurate to call it a Hindu marriage ceremony. It was widely reported -- though poorly sourced -- that a Hindu priest had officiated at the ceremony. Brand is Hindu, while Perry is the child of two Christian pastors. But when it came to actual sourcing from the couple, it sounded much different. The couple released a statement to Us magazine that read:

Russell Brand and Katy Perry are overjoyed to confirm that they were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Brand on Saturday, October 23. The very private and spiritual ceremony, attended by the couples’ closest family and friends was performed by a Christian minister and longtime friend of the Hudson Family. The backdrop was the inspirational and majestic countryside of Northern India.

A commenter to the thread pointed out that the evangelical pastor who performed the marriage rite had commented on it publicly. The first and last lines of his blog post:

Yes, I married Katy Perry and Russell Brand. Rather, I was the officiating minister at the wedding. ...

Oh, and refuting media outlets it was not a Hindu celebration. I was there.

What I find fascinating about all this is how something that's just not true has become an accepted fact by the media, even if it is that popular section of media that follows celebrity. If you do a Google news search for Katy Perry Hindu, you get 736 news stories. One of those begins with this line:

English actor-comedian Russell Brand and American musician Katy Perry, who reportedly underwent elaborate Hindu wedding ceremony in October 2010

Another has this paragraph:

Now we have Perry and Brand. They had themselves a “Hindu style” wedding with a mandap in the middle of the Ranthambhore tiger reserve in 2010. They wore traditional Rajasthani dresses and went around a holy fire seven times while a priest chanted shlokas. Brand invoked Lord Ganesh. Fourteen months later he’s invoking “irreconcilable differences.”

I mean, we've gotten quite confident that this non-Hindu wedding was Hindu and we even have a lot of completely false details!

If the media can't get this most basic of details correct when writing about these two people, one wonders what they do get right and if it's just by chance when they do.

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