(LOS ANGELES) — She may play an chameleonic assassin in Marvel’s delayed Black Widow movie, but a series of “looks” in Florence Pugh’s past has led her to apologize for committing cultural appropriation.
In a lengthy Instagram post, the actress says she’s “ashamed” at looking back at photos she’d taken in her younger years, in which she’d worn cornrows and used henna tattoos — the latter of which have cultural and religious significance to Indians — as fashion accessories.
“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,” the 24-year-old Little Women star says.
When a fan cried foul of a photo Pugh had posted of herself at 17, the actress reevaluated matters. “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,'” she explained, adding, “I am ashamed of so many things in those few sentences.”
Pugh called her decisions “uneducated,” as was when she became “obsessed” with Indian culture and henna art. “There wasn’t a summer where I didn’t henna my hands, feet, my family’s hands and feet,” the actress wrote.
“…I actually wasn’t being respectful…” Pugh noted. “I wore this culture on my terms only, to parties, at dinner…”
Pugh declared, “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.”
By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.