Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau dressing in a turban and brownface for a 2001 “Arabian Nights” party is cultural appropriation. (Yes, he apologized.) Then there is pop-cultural appropriation. We don’t mean when rock stars like Neil Young or Rihanna try to stop Donald Trump from playing their music at his rallies. Suddenly, all kinds of celebrities are calling out people they don’t like for identifying themselves with characters in movies or television shows they do like.
Mark Ruffalo, who played the Hulk in the Avengers movies, lashed out last week at British prime minister Boris Johnson for likening the U.K. to the oversized green superhero. “Boris Johnson forgets that the Hulk only fights for the good of the whole,” Ruffalo scolded in a tweet. “The Hulk works best when he is in unison with a team, and is a disaster when he is alone.”