Laverne Cox Clarifies Stance On Cultural Appropriation In Lengthy Blog Post

Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox lengthened her take on cultural appropriation after an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.

Guests Cox and Andre Leon Talley, formerly of Vogue, commented on Caitlyn Jenner’s style and the Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick breakup. But fans were not happy when Cox had nothing to say about the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner, who has been a heavy topic since donning cornrows on Instagram.

Cohen was the first to refer to Jenner – in a way that got #BoycottBravo trending on Twitter. Every show, the host awards a person or moment “Jackhole of the Day,” with a follow-up question for his guests. Cohen specifically said that the feud between Jenner and Amandla Stenberg as the episode’s “jackhole.” Viewers tweeted their displeasure with the debate around cultural appropriation being labeled as such. They sought out for Cohen’s guests to defend the Stenberg in reply to his follow-up question.

READ: Amandla Stenberg On Beauty: “White Women Are Praised For Altering Their Bodies, Black Women Are Shamed”

“White girls and cornrows, yay or nay?” WWHL host Andy Cohen gave guests Cox and Leon Talley 10 seconds to answer – enough for Cox to say “Bo Derek.” Leon Talley said he saw no problem with the trend. Cox admitted on Tumblr that she knew very little about Stenberg and her run-in with Jenner at the time of taping, which is why Bo Derek popped in her head first. She said thought her answer was implicit of her attitudes towards cultural appropriation. Cox wrote:

When in answer to Andy Cohen’s question on “Watch What Happens Live” on July 12, “White girls and cornrows, yay or nay? “I said what I said in an attempt to not get involved in what I understood at the time to be an Instagram feud between someone with whom I was not familiar and Kylie Jenner on the topic of cultural appropriation. I have never been interested in getting involved in any celebrity feuds.
In that moment, I also felt that the topic of cultural appropriation needs way more than the 10 seconds or less I had to respond at the end of the show to fully unpack. I said as much to Andre Leon Tally after the cameras stopped rolling. So on camera with seconds left in a live broadcast I said, “Bo Derek” the first iconic example of a white woman wearing cornrows I could think of.

READ: ‘Hunger Games’ Star Amandla Stenberg Criticizes Kylie Jenner’s Cornrows

She complimented Stendberg’s voice on the subject, and Cohen apologized for his mislabeling.

Leon Talley has not released a statement. Cox also asked for a continued discussion about cultural appropriation but feels it should be “historic and cultural perspective with love, empathy and understanding.”