Adele was hit with criticism online Sunday over a photo she posted to Instagram in which she is wearing her hair in traditional African Bantu knots, along with a bikini top printed with the Jamaican flag.
The singer captioned the photo with the message, “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London.”
The Notting Hill Carnival is held annually in London as a way to celebrate Black British culture. It has taken place since 1966 but was held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of the photo, Adele’s name began trending Sunday night on Twitter. Several users accused her of cultural appropriation and expressed shock that she would wear the hairstyle, which has also been worn in recent years by Black artists and actors like Rihanna and Uzo Aduba, who sported the style while playing “Crazy Eyes” in Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
Journalists Jemele Hill and Ernest Owens had strong reactions to the photo.
“If 2020 couldn’t get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it,” Owens tweeted.
Hill joked, “No one. Absolutely not a fucking soul. Nary a person. Adele,” in her tweet, along with the photo.
Below are some more reactions:
It’s the Bantu knots for me…and the facial expression..she knows she’s wrong pic.twitter.com/Z4QuXnrIRa
— Katie Scott (@KatieScottNews) August 30, 2020
checking to see why adele's trending like pic.twitter.com/9boXMOoCat
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) August 30, 2020
I KNOW YALL ARE LYING THIS IS NOT ADELE????? IT CANT BE- pic.twitter.com/0XP754dP77
— JoJo⁷?? (@jojosuniverze) August 30, 2020
Swear I thought that picture of Adele was photoshopped. lol
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 30, 2020
Us: Adele, when we getting the album?
— Brittny Pierre (@sleep2dream) August 30, 2020
“Black people have been through enough in 2020.”
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) August 30, 2020
Absolutely not a fucking soul.
Nary a person.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 30, 2020