Blackpink’s Jennie has been accused of cultural appropriation for appearing with cornrows in the teaser trailer for HBO’s “The Idol.”
The 26-year-old artist can be seen in three short scenes throughout the video, which was released on Sunday. The HBO drama series stars singer The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), who plays a secret cult leader, and actor Lily-Rose Depp, who plays a wannabe pop singer. In one particular scene of the trailer, Jennie can be spotted sporting cornrows while playing the part of a backup dancer.
Several eagle-eyed viewers caught a glimpse of her hairstyle and took to Twitter to call her out.
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Some fans reportedly tried to defend Jennie, suggesting that the hairstyle decision was that of the series’ producers and not of the Blackpink member; however, others argued that she should be held accountable because she is “not a child.”
“Should Jennie be held accountable for the braids? Yes, she is not a child. But also K-pop stans should stop using cultural appropriation just for fan wars like it’s nothing,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I will never understand why people will defend their faves to the point they ignore the bad stuff they do or start making excuses for them. Jennie is a grown a** woman, there’s no way she doesn’t know about the braids especially since she grew up outside of South Korea as well,” another user wrote.
“Jennie really did this in 2022?” another user asked. “In Lisa’s case, Blinks said it was Thai braid and others said YG forced. What’s their excuse this time? HBO forced Jennie or YG begged HBO to force her to do those?”
Cornrows were designed for curly, tight-textured hair, and the origins of the braided style can be traced to sub-Saharan Africa as far back as 3,000 B.C. Different braid patterns and hairstyles were used for centuries in Africa to proclaim one’s tribe, religion, marital status and wealth, among others. Fellow Blackpink member Lisa apologized in September 2021 after being accused of cultural appropriation for appearing with box braids, a popular Black hairstyle, for the cover of her single “Money.”