*Justin Bieber is being accused of cultural appropriation after debuting his new dreadlocks on April 3 at the IHeartRadio Awards show. He posted a series of pictures of his new look on Instagram, and was immediately met with disapproval by some who called the pop star a “racist.”
Justin has defended his choice to rock the style, and according to numerous reports, while backstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday, he was allegedly heard telling Big Sean that: “It’s just hair,” and adding: “[People say] you wanna be black and all that stuff, I’m like, ‘it’s just my hair’.”
Despite his personal free of expression, the spoiled pop star has faced an onslaught of negativity since posting pictures of his new ‘do online.
READ RELATED STORY: Justin Bieber Defends Kylie Jenner’s Cornrows: ‘Leave Her Alone’
One person wrote: “Justin bieber has appropriated black culture a lot in the past and we can assume his dreads are based from that.”
Another added: “Is no one gonna talk about how justin bieber is appropriating black culture?”
A third simply wrote: “Racist much?”
Meanwhile, others have suggested that he’s paying homage to black culture, as one person wrote: “Isn’t it clear that Justin loves black culture from the way that he dresses, his music and his friends.I’m not shocked just let the boy live lol.”
While another agreed: “Why is everyone throwing shade at @justinbieber for wearing dreadlocks maybe he actually respects and likes the black culture!”
As TIME notes, this is not the first time Bieber has been criticized for his “black” hairstyle. In a picture posted on Instagram three months ago, Justin is seen rockin’ cornrows. However, the tween dream did not seem too keen on the style, saying: “Hailey made me get corn rows…these will be off tomorrow.”
Justin Bieber didn’t get the memo that white people look stupid with dreadlocks huh?
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) April 4, 2016