'Cultural appropriation': Juliette Lewis slammed for photoshoot in Māori piupiu

'Cultural appropriation': Juliette Lewis slammed for photoshoot in Māori piupiu
Photo credit: Instagram/Amanda Demme, Melet Mercantile

Juliette Lewis has prompted outrage online after wearing a traditional Māori piupiu for a fashion photoshoot. 

The Natural Born Killers star thanked the vintage store that provided the garments for "letting us play dress up" in a comment on the behind-the-scenes photo the store shared on Instagram. 

'Cultural appropriation': Juliette Lewis slammed for photoshoot in Māori piupiu
Photo credit: Instagram/Juliette Lewis

Lewis also shared an image from the shoot herself, in which she pairs the piupiu with black stiletto heels and a blazer. 

The 46-year-old has now turned off commenting on her post, but that hasn't stopped the angry messages elsewhere online. 

"COOL CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!! WHY IS SHE WEARING A PIUPIU?!!!" one commenter raged on the Melet Mercantile store's post. 

 "@juliettelewis  is not wahine Māori and should absolutely not be 'playing dress-ups' with a garment sacred to my culture." 

Others took their outrage to the comments section of some of Lewis' other posts instead. 

"The photo of you in a piupiu is deeply hurtful to Māori," one wrote on a post about Lewis' upcoming role in the movie Mayday.

"This is a sacred taonga (treasure) to us. Please take the time to consider how this cultural appropriation affects us. 

'Cultural appropriation': Juliette Lewis slammed for photoshoot in Māori piupiu
Photo credit: Instagram/Hallowtide13

"Our culture, our people, our ancestors have been colonised to the point of near genocide to our customs and language. Kia Kaha whanau who are feeling the mamae of this. Kia ora." 

Referencing her new film's title, another wrote simply: "May Day? More like stop appropriating Māori culture day." 

"Juliette lewis calling a piupiu vintage?! What the actual f**k?? Cultural appropriation at its finest," one Twitter user wrote.

The shoot's photographer, Amanda Demme, updated a caption on her Instagram post of the image to read: Not sure the origin of everything JL is sitting on or wearing but maybe bob [the owner of the vintage store] you can calm our audience. 

"I now know JL is wearing a piupiu." 

Demme has also turned off the comments on her post. 

Newshub. 

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