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Adele accused of cultural appropriation

 

The Straits Times/Asia News Network

London  /  Tue, September 1, 2020  /  09:30 am
Adele accused of cultural appropriation

Adele, sporting Bantu knots and a bikini top with a Jamaican flag print, in a photo she posted on social media on Aug. 31, 2020. (www.instagram.com/adele/File)

English singer-songwriter Adele has been accused of cultural appropriation after she posted a photo of herself sporting what looked to be a traditional African hairstyle known as Bantu knots, in a bikini top with a Jamaican flag print.

She had bright yellow feathers on her back as well.

The 32-year-old posted the picture on Aug. 31, with the caption: "Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London."

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Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London 🇬🇧🇯🇲

A post shared by Adele (@adele) on

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual festival in London with parades, music and food with a strong Afro-Caribbean presence.

The carnival had to move online this year due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her photo swiftly attracted a backlash on social media, with black journalist Ernest Owens tweeting: "If 2020 couldn't get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic."

But the post, which has garnered over 3.8 million likes, has plenty of defenders too, including celebrities of color like English model Naomi Campbell who showed their backing for Adele with heart emojis and Jamaican flags.

African-American actress Zoe Saldana also showed her support, saying: "You look right at home," in response to Adele's post.

Fans of the singer, some of whom identified themselves as Jamaican, also jumped in to say that Adele was appreciating and not appropriating Jamaican and African culture and that it is common to dress up in ethnic-inspired looks for the Notting Hill Carnival.

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This article appeared on The Straits Times newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post