Culture Clash: 10 Celebrities Who Stirred Up Cultural Controversy!

By Krystal Brown

Cultural appropriation is a controversial topic that arises when individuals or celebrities adopt elements from a culture that is not their own, often without fully understanding or respecting its significance. Here are 10 celebrities who have faced accusations of cultural appropriation for their use or misrepresentation of cultural elements in their work or personal style.

Kim Kardashian

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The reality TV star and entrepreneur has been accused of appropriating various elements of Black culture, including hairstyles such as cornrows and “boxer braids.”

Iggy Azalea

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The Australian rapper has been criticized for adopting a “blaccent” (a perceived imitation of African American Vernacular English) and appropriating African American culture in her music and style.

Katy Perry

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The pop singer has faced accusations of cultural appropriation for her use of Japanese geisha imagery in a performance at the 2013 American Music Awards.

Miley Cyrus

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The former Disney star has been accused of appropriating Black culture, particularly in her music and stage performances, where she adopted elements of hip-hop culture.

Gwen Stefani

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The singer and fashion designer has faced criticism for her use of Japanese Harajuku culture as a fashion aesthetic and for allegedly treating it as a costume. She also faced widespread backlash after claiming to be Japanese in an interview with Allure magazine in January 2023. When asked about her love of Japanese culture, Stefani said, “My God, I’m Japanese and I didn’t know it.” She went on to say that she felt a deep connection to Japanese culture and that she had always felt like she was “part Japanese.”

Vanessa Hudgens

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The actress and singer received backlash for wearing a Native American headdress at the 2010 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which was seen as cultural appropriation.

Kylie Jenner

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The reality TV star and beauty mogul has been accused of appropriating Black culture by adopting traditionally Black hairstyles and features without acknowledging their cultural significance.

Ariana Grande

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The pop star has faced criticism for appropriating Black culture in her music and style, such as adopting elements of African American Vernacular English and using tanning products to darken her skin.


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The iconic singer has been accused of cultural appropriation throughout her career, appropriating elements of various cultures, including African, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures, in her music, fashion, and performances.

Selena Gomez

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The actress and singer has faced accusations of cultural appropriation for wearing bindis (a traditional Hindu symbol) as a fashion accessory during performances and public appearances.

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