AN AMERICAN woman who was accused of cultural appropriation for Irish dancing has defended herself after receiving a heap of racial abuse.
21-year-old Morgan Bullock made waves on social media after a clip of her Irish dancing to the hip-hop track 'Savage' went viral.
Most of the reaction was overwhelmingly positive - and why wouldn't it be? She's fantastic - but some accused her of appropriating Irish culture and that as a black American woman she shouldn't be allowed to perform the jig.
Bullock even received racial abuse because of the video, but has since hit back at her critics, claiming that there's a clear distinction between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.
"People saying that I shouldn't be Irish dancing because I'm black and I don't look like most Irish dancers, but I saw it for the first time at a recital and it was just the coolest thing ever to me," she told the BBC.
Morgan Bullock is an African-American Irish dancer from Richmond, Virginia
After a TikTok video of her lightning-footed jigs went viral, she was accused of "cultural appropriation"
Then she got a call from Riverdance...💃 https://t.co/R5DSqf9jlG pic.twitter.com/sCCFXhl5br
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 18, 2020
"My understanding of the term [cultural appropriation] is that it means when you're taking something from a culture, claiming it as your own without recognising where it comes from, and that couldn't be further from what I'm doing.
"It's important for people to recognise that there's a difference between appropriation and appreciation.
"I think people use the term appropriation without knowing what it really means."
Thanks to her viral fame, Bullock has been invited to next year's St. Patrick's Day parade by former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
She's also bagged herself a top gig and has been asked by Riverdance's Padraic Moyles to join the crew on stage at a performance in Bullock's home state of Virginia.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) May 5, 2020