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Fast & Furious 9: Charlize Theron loses dreadlocks following cultural appropriation backlash


Charlize Theron will not have dreadlocks when she returns to play Cipher in Fast & Furious 9 next year.

The actor made her franchise debut as the dread-sporting cyber terrorist in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, with her hairstyle leading to a debate about cultural appropriation.

“Haven’t we, as a culture, moved beyond white dreadlocks?” wrote journalist Hunter Harris in Vulture. “Shouldn’t we know by now? White locks are the ultimate self-own: Your hair will break off. 


“Then there’s the underlying subtext of white dreads, that they usurp Rasta culture, and expose a double standard: Black women are penalized for our dreadlocks; white women get to use them to add an extra bad-girl dimension to the characters they play in blockbuster movies. So, yeah. No more white-lady dreadlocks.”

While Theron’s change of haircut has not been specifically attributed to this backlash, it was a likely contributor.

In an Instagram post, Theron revealed a new bowl cut for the character, teasing: “She’s baaaaack.” 


Here’s a reminder of what Theron looked like with dreads in the 2017 film, which director F. Gary Gray told Vulture were the actor’s idea.


Justin Lin will direct Fast & Furious 9, with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Dame Helen Mirren reprising their roles.

John Cena, Finn Cole, and Michael Rooker also join the cast.

Fast & Furious 9 will be released in cinemas on 22 May 2020.


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