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Online feud provokes longer discussion on cultural appropriation

A feud between Kylie Jenner and Amandla Stenberg this weekend was prolonged by further provocations and comments by Andy Cohen and Justin Bieber.
Andy Cohen on his show Watch What Happens Live (Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU/Getty).
Andy Cohen on his show Watch What Happens Live.

Justin Bieber, Andy Cohen and the twitterverse all had something to say about cultural appropriation after a social media feud broke out on Sunday between Kardashian clan's Kylie Jenner and "Hunger Games" star, Amandla Stenberg.

The feud started when Jenner, 17, posted an Instagram of herself sporting cornrows. Stenberg, 17, who has previously voiced her concern about the growing problem of cultural appropriation in fashion and music, commented on the photo, calling Jenner out for appropriating black culture. The comment was deleted soon after Stenberg posted it. 

Related: 'Hunger Games' actress calls out Kylie Jenner for cultural appropriation

Jenner fired back with a few of her own fighting words and then Stenberg posted a photo on both her Twitter and Tumblr accounts, with a longer, more fully-developed response to cultural appropriation, in general.

It didn't stop there. 

Andy Cohen, host of "Watch What Happens Live!," poked fun at the online sensation on his show on Sunday night a few hours after the feud during his segment, "Jackhole of the Day." 

“Today’s Jackhole goes to the Instagram feud between Kylie Jenner and "Hunger Games" star/Jaden Smith’s prom date Amandla Stenberg, who criticized Kylie for her cornrows, calling it cultural appropriation," Cohen said.

"White girls in cornrows … is it OK or nay?,” he proceeded to asks his guest stars,  actress Laverne Cox and Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley, both of whom concurred that it was fine. 

However, Cox and Leon Talley may have been the only two people who were okay with Cohen's comments. After the show, Twitter exploded with the hashtag #BoycottBravo, directly targeting Cohen. 

Listening to his critics, Cohen issued an apology on Twitter. 

Twitter users also expressed how they were surprised Laverne Cox did not stand up for Stenberg and against cultural appropriation. 

In a similar fashion to Cohen, Cox wanted to reclaim her position on cultural appropriation and did so in a post on tumblr. 

The next day, Justin Bieber, who has been exposed to his fair share of public scrutiny and personal friend of Jenner's, jumped into the mess when he commented on the same Instagram. 

Bieber urged the online community to "leave her alone." The fight for equality doesn't start calling a "17-year-old kid" with braids a racist, he said.