Zac Efron, the co-star of High School Musical, Neighbors, and The Greatest Showman, is sporting a new look: dreadlocks.
And now the picture he posted on Instagram featuring the new locks has sparked an online controversy over cultural appropriation.
Here's Efron's post showing off his dreads:
His caption, "Just for fun 🤘," signals Efron wasn't fully aware of the intense scrutiny his post would soon be receiving. Unless his idea of fun is being at the center of an online debate.
His Instagram post inspired some lively conversations.
From Instagram, the debate moved to Twitter where several people pointed out that part of the issue is the bans imposed against people of color wearing their traditional hairstyles in the workplace or in society at large while a white actor can try them out "just for fun."
One Twitter user, Tyde Dermody, wrote about the irrelevance of whether the dreads look good or bad:
It's not about how his dreads look it's about cultural appropriation which doesn't fly even if it was "just for fun"... whatever that means?
Zac Efron has had a special place in my... heart for years but that doesn't mean he gets a free pass.
Childish Gambino also chimed in:
Zac Efron in dreads.
I have really seen it all.
What in the cultural appropriation is going on?
Troy, get your nonsense head in the bloody game .
Pls and Pls.
There were also many Efron fans who thought dreadlocks were a bad move from a purely aesthetic perspective:
But other Efron-supporters were behind the actor 100%.
Others made the oft heard comment on any debate: this is what you're worried about?
Perhaps the most astute group of people, however, is this one woman who (jokingly) is simply concerned by the way Efron looks in his picture. You OK bro? Do you need some money for the bus?