Zac Efron has a new ‘do, but not everyone thinks it’s “fun.” The 30-year-old actor debuted a surprising new hairdo on Instagram this week, which prompted cheers—and jeers—from his fans. Efron posted a black and white image that shows him sporting dreadlocks and a scruffy beard and mustache.
“Just for fun,” the High School Musical alum captioned the image, which he shared with his 35.9 million Instagram followers.
The photo has already received than 1.2 million likes and nearly 15,000 comments, but not all of them are complimentary. While a few fans warned Efron that he doesn’t look “good” with dreadlocks, others accused the star of cultural appropriation.
“Cultural appropriation ain’t fun,” one commenter wrote.
“Mate this is literally culture appropriation. Are you black? No. Delete this,” another user instructed the star.
“This is so racially insensitive,” another wrote.
Other fans supported the actor’s right to choose whatever hairstyle he wants.
“Anyone can get dreadlocks if they want to, why does it have to be racist or offensive? Love it Zac,” one supportive fan wrote.
“It’s just hair!” another supporter wrote. “He’s not doing it for a cultural or political reason, just like when Kim had her cornrows. It’s just a hairstyle — get over it and have fun with your life.”
You can see Zac Efron’s dreadlock debut which sparked thousands of comments below.
Zac Efron usually wears his hair in a short, clean-cut style and his face is usually clean shaven. The Hollywood star probably didn’t expect backlash when he posted the Instagram photo of his new dreadlocks and facial hair. Efron sits in company with Kim Kardashian, who was recently criticized for wearing Fulani braids. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was recently appropriating a hairstyle created by and for women of color, according to Yahoo Lifestyle. Two years ago, Justin Bieber also weathered backlash after he briefly wore dreadlocks.
And at the 87th Annual Academy Awards, Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic found out the hard way that dreadlock jokes are no joke. Rancic came under fire when she cracked a joke about teen star Zendaya’s dreadlock hair.
“I feel like she smells like patchouli oil… or maybe weed,” the E! host said as Zendaya walked the red carpet.
The former Disney star called Rancic out via a lengthy retort on Instagram, writing, “There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful… To say that an 18-year-old woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive. There is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”
There is no word if Zac Efron is wearing dreadlocks for a film role or if it really is “just for fun.”