Pamela Anderson is speaking out after she was accused of racism and cultural appropriation for her Native American-inspired Halloween costume. After the former Baywatch star shared a photo of herself in underwear and a traditional Native American headdress on Thursday, an image that immediately prompted backlash, Anderson again took to Twitter on Monday to address the controversy, responding to a user who wrote that “she’s against the seal hunt.”
“I am against the seal hunt,” Anderson wrote. “It’s barbaric and unsustainable to beat baby seals - crush there (sic) skulls for a 2$ (sic) pelt that there is no market for. Makes no sense There are other ways to stay true to tradition - saving the environment.”
Anderson also shared the link to an article titled, “The Illogic of Cultural Appropriation,” seemingly addressing the accusations of racism, which discusses how the idea of cultural appropriation goes against, “essential aspects of the greatness of a free society.”
“The basic idea is that the group or nationality or ethnicity who developed some practice should be the ones who are allowed to practice it,” author Mike Rappaport wrote. “People outside of that group are not allowed to engage in the practice. When stated in this way, the idea seems absurd. It seems to suggest that white westerners cannot practice Yoga because it was developed in India.”
The article explains that some behavior labelled as cultural appropriation is “problematic,” but “not because it involves cultural appropriation.”
Anderson’ response only seemed to spark more backlash, however, with many of her followers slamming her in the comments.
“Pamela… please no,” one person wrote. “Like I genuinely respect you, you have broadly good politics and should really know better.”
“This is really disappointing & racist Pam, I thought you were better than this,” another added.
“This is a colossally bad take, Pam. I urge you to please do some research. Understand Indigenous people’s traditions, lifeways, and cultures before attempting to tell them how to be ‘traditional,’” wrote a third. “You know what? Check that - do the research, yes - however DON’T tell Indigenous people how to observe their traditions.”
Anderson’s response and the second round of backlash was prompted after she took to Twitter on Halloween to show off her costume.
Happy Halloween 👻 pic.twitter.com/K2pvI3FxCe— Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) October 31, 2019
The images immediately sparked backlash, with many claiming that Anderson’s costume was not only a case of racism, but also cultural appropriation, with one writing that, “this is the quintessential cultural appropriation that people are not liking. The Native head dress. Not so cool."