The Cultural Appropriation Controversy Surrounding Jackson Wang’s Dreads

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Learn More About Got7’s Jackson Wang’s Dreads Controversy

Who doesn’t know Got7, a South Korean boy band that is very popular among K-Pop music lovers, especially young women. There is no doubt, that aside from the fact that Got7’s songs are really easy to listen, the visuals of the members are also very attractive! One of the members of Got7, who has a very charming appearance, is Jackson Wang.

This man, whose real name is Wang Ka-yee, is one of the members of Got7 who was not born in South Korea, but in Hong Kong! That is why his real name doesn’t have a Korean ring to it, but rather a Chinese one.

Jackson passed an audition held by JYP Entertainment in 2010. Initially, Jackson’s desire to become a trainee was opposed by his parents. But his father made a deal that he would allow Jackson to go to Korea if he could be the best fencer in Asia. And he proved this by winning first place in the Asian Cadet and Junior fencing championship.

In 2011, Jackson finally became a JYP trainee for two and a half years before his debut with Got7. Then, in 2014 Jackson actually became an official member of Got7. Aside from being a member of Got7, Jackson also made several appearances in various Korean reality shows, such as Roommate. He also got the 2014 SBS Best Newcomer Award. Whoa! He is really talented and very charming, guys!

Jackson Wang’s Dreads in the Pepsi Ads

Most of you guys must have heard about the cultural appropriation issue involving Jackson’s dreadlocks in the Pepsi Ads. The Hong Kong idol was accused of carrying out a cultural appropriation because he was seen having dreadlocks, like reggae musicians, in the ad. There are many netizens who regard Jackson’s dreadlocks as a form of seizure of other cultures, so they demand an apology from Jackson.

As we all already know, the reason why this is controversial is that when black people have dreadlocks they are constantly being denied jobs and are being kicked out of institutions for having this hairstyle, that is often considered “not clean” enough by the western population. So, when western people are wearing dreadlocks, they are accepted, and sometimes even encouraged, which is therefore seen as offensive by many. It’s seen as one of the many examples of white supremacy in today’s society.

Even when people explain their choice of hairstyle (dreadlocks) as a tribute or honor to the Afro-American culture, it doesn’t make it any less offensive because it adds to the argument about white people being permitted to wear them, and black people being judged for it even though it is something that is specifically connected to the Afro-American culture.

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The number of nasty comments aimed at Jackson, posted on his Instagram account, made the 1994-born idol to voice his personal opinion. He said, “I don’t think I’m the only one doing this and if people are gonna point fingers at this, so be it… haters gonna hate. I have all my respect and love for all RACES. But if you think this is a sign of mocking a race, I’m really sorry but you are on the wrong page.” He also made another statement on his Instagram, “I made this decision because I was too in love with the culture. No matter what, whether it is music wise, people, background or anything, and I truly respect the culture with all of my heart. It is a complete misunderstanding.”

Netizens’ Reactions

After Jackson posted his statement on Instagram, not a few of the netizens left negative feedback to the statement given by Jackson. However, there were also some netizens who defended Jackson because they thought that he had no intention of offending and insulting the black race. The people that support Jackson, however, say that “the decision to make him wear dreadlocks for the commercial is not necessary and… well, dumb. It’s dumb.” But there are also netizens who commented, “Okay, so why doesn’t he just apologize?”

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So, what do you guys think about this issue? Do you guys think that what Jackson did can be considered cultural appropriation? And, no matter what, people make mistakes. We have to forgive people for their mistakes and keep supporting Jackson, guys!