Do You Forgive Her? Laverne Cox Apologies With Her Own Post on Cultural Appropriation

laverne-cox-glaad-media-awardsThe internet was not feeling Laverne Cox this week after she didn’t stand up for Amandla Stenberg against Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. During the show’s segment Cohen made the 16-year-old the “Jackhole of the Day” for calling out Kylie Jenner’s latest cultural appropriation antic.

“White girls and cornrows, yay or nay?” WWHL host Andy Cohen asked Cox and Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley, who was also a guest on the show. Leon Talley saw no problem with it and Cox simply said, “Bo Derek.”

Need a refresher click here.

Well that segment on Amandla caused #BoycottBravo to trend on Twitter. Users called out Cohen who apologized via Twitter (because that’s acceptable) as well as Cox and Talley.

Facing the wrath of her fans, Laverne Cox immediately apologized on Twitter and once again on her Tumblr. Using more than the allocated 140 characters Twitter allows, the Orange is the New Black actress apologized for what happened during the show, citing she was avoiding involving herself in an “Instagram feud” as she understood it at the time. As well as giving her own thoughts on Cultural appropriation.

See Related: Amandla Stenberg Educates Whites on Cultural Appropriation in 5 Minutes

Read all she had to say below and let us know if you forgive Laverne

Whenever I have spoken up and out about issues that are important to me I have tried to do so in ways that illuminate the discussion, put it in historic and cultural perspective with love, empathy and understanding. I have never been interested in interpersonal attacks, feuds or ‘checking’ individuals publicly. Whether people perceive my work in that way or not, my intention is always to have conversations with love, empathy nuance and understanding.


When in answer to Andy Cohen’s question on “Watch What Happens Live” on July 12, “White girls and cornrows, yay or nay? “I said what I said in an attempt to not get involved in what I understood at the time to be an Instagram feud between someone with whom I was not familiar and Kylie Jenner on the topic of cultural appropriation. I have never been interested in getting involved in any celebrity feuds.


In that moment, I also felt that the topic of cultural appropriation needs way more than the 10 seconds or less I had to respond at the end of the show to fully unpack. I said as much to Andre Leon Tally after the cameras stopped rolling. So on camera with seconds left in a live broadcast I said, “Bo Derek” the first iconic example of a white woman wearing cornrows I could think of. To be clear I understood when I said, “Bo Derek” that her rocking of cornrows with beads in the 1979 film “10” and that look on her subsequently becoming a cultural phenomenon when the black folks who had been rocking cornrows for decades before her had not similarly become a sensation is an example of the ways in which what bell hooks calls imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchal systems privilege certain bodies’ performances of cultural traditions over others. This is when cultural appropriation can tend to erase the marginalized people from whom the culture emerges.

Continue reading on her Tumblr.


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