Some artists never learn. Justin Bieber sported dreadlocks at the iHeartRadio Music Awards 2016 and naturally, caught the ire of those who cannot stand cultural appropriation.
Bieber performed at iHeartRadio Music Awards in Inglewood, California and took home some great rewards. He won awards for best dance song and best male artist, as reported Page Six. However, his hair that night did not win awards. Instead, he faced intense backlash.
The 22-year-old star created a stir in social media after he sported dreadlocks on the awarding event. Many accused him of committing cultural appropriation — a racist move for many.
According Independent, fans’ negative comments poured on the singer’s Instagram account. “People are annoyed cause when black people wear this style they are stereotyped as druggies and are “unkempt” look at Zendaya for example. She had fake dreads and she was stereotyped, But when people such as JB […] wears them its suddenly ‘the latest trend’,” one commenter said.
This is not a surprising action by the young Canadian singer though. Justin Bieber after all, loves experimenting with his hair. On his early days on the music industry, his sideswept hair was quite a trend. He even donned purple hair once.
It is not surprising too that Bieber did not see the issue with cultural appropriation. He supported Kylie Jenner on the issue of a similar kind when she was criticized for wearing cornrows. At the time, he went to Instagram to defend Kendall Jenner’s younger sister to ward off critics. “Guys leave her alone, were all trying to figure it out and she happens to be under a microscope!” he wrote. “I’m the first to know this. But saying she’s being racist because she has her hair in braids is ridiculous,” he said.
How quickly for Bieber to rub people the wrong way. Bieber’s camp is yet to comment on the issue.