Chris Hemsworth has just demonstrated the right way to own up to racist or insensitive behavior.
On Thursday, Hemsworth shared a photo on his official Instagram in solidarity with the protestors of the Standing Rock pipeline protest, and in the process apologized for cultural appropriation in the past.
Hemsworth, who is currently filming the next “Thor” movie, posted a picture of him and director Taika Waititi holding up a sign that reads “We stand with Standing Rock.” In a caption, he added:
“I would also like to take this opportunity to raise something that has been bothering me for sometime. Last New Year’s Eve I was at a ‘Lone Ranger’ themed party where some of us, myself included, wore the traditional dress of First Nations people. I was stupidly unaware of the offence this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue. I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to all First Nations people for this thoughtless action.”
Since August, members of the Sioux tribe at the Standing Rock reservation have been demonstrating against plans to construct a 1,200-mile-long pipeline between oil fields in North Dakota and Illinois, which they say would desecrate indigenous burial grounds and contaminate their only water source. Protests over the pipeline have escalated in recent months, as key areas of are set for construction.
Hemsworth said he hoped highlighting his own ignorance can help spread awareness about the “complex and extensive issues facing indigenous communities.”
The actor admits to his mistake, doesn’t make excuses for his ignorance, genuinely apologizes for his insensitivity, and he uses his platform to bring attention to an important cause. An apology is quite frankly the least Hemsworth can do, but this apology stands as a great example for anyone who has engaged in cultural appropriation of any form.
It’s actually not rocket science, but unfortunately there are still so many people out there who don’t get why culturally appropriative costumes and fashion is wrong. Hopefully, others who’ve made the same mistakes will take Hemsworth’s lead.