Shadowhunters star Emeraude Toubia has been accused of cultural appropriation for having her hair braided, but rather than caving in to the demands of the offended, she fought back by educating them.
Toubia shared a picture on Twitter from her vacation in Thailand that shows her hair braided, which immediately sent online social justice warriors into a tizzy. Many tweeted urging the actress to remove the picture and apologize.
— Emeraude Toubia (@EmeraudeToubia) January 4, 2017
One person said: “I’m sure you’re not aware of how harmful this is, but by wearing those braids you’re appropriating another race’s culture and that’s really not okay.”
“Delete this, take the time to think about it and apologize. i’m sure you’ll understand ily,” the user added. “Em, please pay attention to your replies. This is cultural appropriation, it’s offensive. Take this down and read,” another Twitter user seconded.
“Hi @EmeraudeToubia you probably don’t know but the braids you’re wearing are cultural appropriation, I hope you understand and correct it,” demanded one woman.
While the accusations of cultural appropriation continued, the actress fired back against the mob, saying: “While it’s difficult to know for certain where braiding originated, it has been found in all cultures of the world including Asia, Africa, Egypt, Europe and the Americas.”
Toubia also took a jibe at her critics, sharing a old picture her mom doing braids for her. “Mom braiding my hair since 1993,” she tweeted.
This further infuriated the crowd, who continued to demand an apology from the actress. “I am begging you to please apologize and listen to your fans. We are trying to educate you because we care,” wrote a fan, who previously said “I’m so disappointed in her.”
One person announced the death of her career, writing: “rip Emeraude Toubia, she ain’t dead she just thinks cultural appropriation is okay so bye lmao”.
A media outlet for teenage girls, teen.com, also attacked Toubia for not caring about so-called cultural appropriation, writing: “What we did not see coming, however, is a Shadowhunters star to join in on offending millions… and then not seem to care!”