Monday, July 6, 2020

Florence Pugh apologises for past cultural appropriation, says she feels sorry for using her white privileges

The Little Women actresss admitted of offending a particular culture and wrote: "I am ashamed of so many things in those few sentences."

New Delhi: Black Widow actress Florence Pugh has issued an elaborated apology for hurting religious sentiment of Indian culture that had been taught to her many years ago. Her statement came amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of killing of George Floyd.

In her lengthy statement, she has apologised for her past appropriation and acknowledged white privileges. “The world is trying to make change and I’m learning a tidal wave of information that frankly, was always there but I was unaware of. I’ve tried my best to post, learn, pass what I’ve learnt on to others and of course, echo the voices of those who don’t have a platform to share their wisdom,” Pugh wrote.

“I braided my hair and painted a beanie with the Jamaican flag colours and went to a friend’s house, proud of my Rastafarian creation. I then posted about it the next day with a caption that paraphrased the lyrics to Shaggy’s song ‘Boombastic’,” the actor said.

View this post on Instagram

To see change I must be part of the change.

A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh) on

The Little Women actress admitted of offending a particular culture and wrote: “I am ashamed of so many things in those few sentences.” She further said that it was “cruel” of her to forget about the photo and mentioned she had “no idea how many were offended.”

Pugh said that she was inspired by her idols in the country and wanted to adapt to Indian culture. She mentioned how she would find Indian shops and buy bindi and show off her braided hairstyle.

There wasn’t a summer where I didn’t henna my hands, feet, my family’s hands and feet – I was obsessed.” But henna soon became a trend, with major makeup brands profiting off of their own versions of henna sets. No one cared about the origin, a culture was being “abused for profit”, she said, adding that she felt embarrassed and sad for somehow being party to it.


“Black, Indian, Native American and Asian cultures and religions are constantly used and abused every new shopping season. It’s not wrong to appreciate the beauty of a culture but rebranding them for the sake of a fashion trend and a dollar most certainly is…

“Stupid doesn’t even cut it. I was uneducated. I was unread… I cannot dismiss the actions I bought into years ago, but I believe that we who were blind to such things must acknowledge them and recognize them as our faults, our ignorance and our white privilege and I apologize profusely that it took this long,” Pugh added, mentioning that she is sorry for her actions in the past.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of ones culture by someone superior of other culture.

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