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Florence Pugh ’embarrassed’ Indian culture abused for profit; Apologises for past cultural misappropriation

Palak Talwar

Florence Pugh recently took to Instagram and apologised for the time she culturally misappropriated. The actress reflected on a few past events and shared a lengthy statement confessed she is "embarrassed" and "ashamed". Addressing her 1.5 million followers on Instagram and looked back at the time she learned about henna and began braiding her into cornrows. The Little Women star began her three-page apology by pointing out that the last four weeks have been "huge" in understanding the white privilege she has.

"The world is trying to make change and I'm learning a tidal wave of information that, frankly, was always there but I was unaware of. I've tried my best to post, learn, pass what I've learnt on to others and of course, echo the voices of those who don't have a platform to share their wisdom," she wrote. Pugh wrote that her past missteps were first brought to her attention by a fan when she was 17. Pugh called the picture an example of "Rastafarian cultural appropriation."

"I braided my hair and painted a beanie with the Jamaican flag colours and went to a friend's house, proud of my Rastafarian creation. I then posted about it the next day with a caption that paraphrased the lyrics to Shaggy's song 'Boombastic,'" she explained.

"I am ashamed of so many things in those few sentences," Pugh admitted. The actress said it was "cruel" of her to forget about the photo, pointing out that for eight years she had "no idea how many were offended."

The actress said that "growing up as white and privileged allowed me to get that far and not know," adding that she was initially "proud" of the braided hairstyle.In hindsight, Pugh called her decisions "uneducated" and also provided an example of her childhood when she befriended an Indian woman who owned a shop in her native Oxford, England, fitted with fabrics, jewelry, henna and more. She credited this woman with teaching her all about the culture, of which she became "obsessed."

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To see change I must be part of the change.

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Many followers praised Pugh for her apology. "Fair play Florence," one fan commented, adding: "it takes guts to admit your mistakes but learn you must and go forward."

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