On Thursday, actor Zac Efron uploaded a black and white photo of himself sporting dreadlocks to Instagram and fans didn’t hesitate to accuse the Greatest Showman star of “cultural appropriation.”
The post, captioned “Just for fun,” drew over 1.4 million likes and nearly 15,000 comments. Most of them fell somewhere between “ewww no,” and “you do not look good in that buddy.” Still, a few thought he made it work: “He pulls it off nicely, not many people can pull that off,” one fan wrote. “This gives me a surfer kinda vibe.”
Others had a bigger concern. “Mate this is literally culture appropriation. Are you black? No. Delete this,” one said. “Love you Zac, but this is appropriation,” said another.
Amidst the pushback, people leapt to Efron’s defense. One person protested the politicization of his hair, saying, “I don’t get why everyone is so triggered I think you look good,” while another fan added, “Anyone can get dreadlocks if they want to, why does it have to be racist or offensive? Love it Zac.”
Zac Efron has, for the most part, stayed away from overt political statements, keeping a relatively private persona outside of his public support for the March for Our Lives in March. He is currently working on a Ted Bundy biopic called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, as well as stoner comedy The Beach Bum.