Zac Efron Gets Dreadlocks, Fans Accuse Him of Cultural Appropriation

Stick to the stuff you know.

Zac Efron's latest hairstyle has fans accusing him of cultural appropriation. The Greatest Showman actor debuted his new dreadlocks on Instagram Thursday with the caption "Just for fun," causing people online to call him out for appropriating black culture without respecting its origin or significance.

The photo, which has about 1.4 million likes and 16,300 comments, sparked a heated debate on Instagram. Comments ranged from "it's his hair and his body" to one saying he started a "race war." One user rebecca_jpeg wrote, "Honestly he could totally have dreads but it should not be for FUN. It should be because he knows the cultural significance and is joining it such as becoming a rastafarian." The user continued, "You do realize that dreadlocks have a cultural AND religious significance and backround [sic] right. so it is not the same as straightening or dying hair."


Just for fun

A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

Others on Instagram called out double standards with other stars, with jessica_arrgh writing, "But Kim Kardashian and her Klan can have corn rolls and it be totally fine?? Get outta here...!" bradyation_millersensation said, "You guys cultural appropriation is when someone does something to mock the culture or make fun of it. Nothing wrong with trying something new... Plus, dreads have other cultures where it originated from."

User nyny33438 wrote back, "I don't get how some of u white ppl are commenting this isn't offensive or racist like how on earth would u know if you not part of the culture?" Tomatobasicsauce seemed to agree, noticing that Efron's defenders were mainly not people of color and saying, "Besides being white, you all share the commonality of having hair that will not make you lose out on job opportunities, friendships, life experiences, even a cab ride home! It's more than just a hairstyle when, if you were a person of color, that same hairstyle could get you locked up, killed, ignored, disrespected."

Some fans kept things brief, merely writing, "I miss Troy" or "Still the hottest human being on Earth."

For those wondering if the new 'do is for a role, Efron's upcoming two films are The Beach Bum and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile — both in postproduction. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Efron for comment.

Twitter users continued the discussion on cultural appropriation, an accusation that's also been leveled at Justin Bieber for his dreadlocks, Miley Cyrus for her twerking and Kylie Jenner for her cornrows.