Drew Barrymore: Latest Cultural Appropriatior

Native Americans upset over Drew Barrymore's careless, clueless Facebook profile photo

Getty Images

In her latest film "Big Miracle," Drew Barrymore plays a Greenpeace worker protecting whales from an Inuit tribe that hunt them, and a Northern Alaskan Oil Company that’s more interested in scoring an Arctic drilling contract. In the film, whales become trapped in ice and the characters are forced to band together and in order to save them.

“It’s okay that we all don’t agree on things,” Barrymore tells Nicole Lyn Pesce of NY Daily News, “but to just say, ‘We are going to work together on this even though I can’t stand what you stand for,’ I think, is just great.”

Although "Big Miracle" has been receiving positive feedback for allowing the "world" to "understand whale hunting," which is a tradition for the Inupiat and St. Lawrence Island Yup'ik People, it's Drew Barrymore herself that has been getting a lot of attention in the Native American community.

One of the many problems Native Americans face today is the appropriation of their culture. Many celebrities have been seen sporting stereotypical and traditional Native American fashions. Recently, a few (not enough) eyebrows were raised when Kourtney Kardashian had a "Cowboy and Indians" themed birthday party for her son.

This week it is Drew Barrymore's Facebook profile photo that has been getting a lot of criticism in the Native American community. In the photo Barrymore is seen wearing a headdress and a Budweiser apron. Most of the comments are asking for the photo to be taken down or/and an apology from Drew Barrymore, but that was when the photo was available for commenting. The photo is still up, however access to the photo (for commenting) has been recently disabled.

One person says: I've always loved you Drew, but I'm not loving the headdress. Natives don't get enough respect as it is, and dressing up like them for a costume or to have fun is adding to that disrespect. Believe it or not, there are thousands of Natives on here who will gladly tell you the same thing. And to everyone who thinks "What's the big deal? Get over it"...have no respect or consideration for culture, people, tradition, and things that are held sacred. If you wouldn't do it in front of a Native, you shouldn't do it when you think they're not looking...and we ARE looking...and not liking it...

Another person says: Please do your own research and/or have your minions inform you of the native cultures and our history (american history of genocide & further oppression of native peoples in this land) before parading in what you are told is merely "fashion".

One person argues that "cultures borrow fashion and culture [...] If it were something you consider positive you haters out there would be saying it is an honour to be copied"

Another says: why dont you enjoy life rather than ranting over past cultures

Another person says: it seems like you're [all] getting a little bit too upset over this. They continue with "i know nothing about NA's [Native Americans] so i didnt see how this is all disrespectful"

One person asks: You worked directly with the Inuit people in your whale movie - didn't this experience give you SOME SENSE of respect for Indigenous peoples?

More comments can be found here and throughout her Facebook Fanpage

Adrienne of Native Appropriations writes “Not only do you give us the stereotypical war bonnet,” she continues, “you give us an association of Indians with alcohol, which is probably right up there with the worst possible stereotypes of Native people in the world ever.” Adrienne also wrote this blog But why can't I wear a hipster headdress?

Sources from Drew Barrymore's Facebook Fanpage / NY Daily News / Native Appropriations Blog / Anchorage Daily News

UPDATE: The photo has been removed and replaced with a different photo.