12 Times Your Fave Celebrity Felt the Heat of Cultural Appropriation Criticism

Was it inspiration or looting from a culture?

By Claire Downs

The conversation around cultural appropriation is currently a hot and heavy debate. It’s truly a discussion that has totally blurred the lines between inspiration and looting from a culture. Last week, Matt Damon’s new film The Great Wall found itself in the middle of a cultural appropriation controversy after a trailer shows Damon as a white “protector” of The Great Wall of China. It’s all too familiar; a celebrity makes a culturally insensitive blunder by “borrowing” the best parts of a culture for their own artistic (or sort-of artistic) purposes. Backlash ensues, and if we’re lucky, they apologize. This year alone has had at least three other major instances of cultural appropriation being called into question via music, fashion and movies. To be honest the issue is not just white entertainers taking from Black culture, it runs deeper into stars donning Native American attire, to singers wearing saris, and some misrepresenting the history of particular cultures.

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