The greatest thing so far about the Ocean's Eight movie is the caliber and variety of female talent that it's assembled — the prospect of seeing Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina onscreen together is downright thrilling. The Ocean's Eleven all-women franchise reboot, due in 2018, is currently filming in New York — resulting in some pretty fabulous celebrity sightings and production stills. And one of the most recent shots taken is causing a minor stir on Twitter.
The photo shows Queen Rihanna and our beloved Sarah Paulson, both in costume and makeup, sitting next to each other on a subway car. Rihanna's rocking dreads and a distinct "bitch don't touch my hair" face; Paulson is, um, touching Rihanna's hair. Presumably, they are filming a scene, but they could also be in between takes — so it's not clear if Paulson's problematic hair grab is for the cameras or not.
Maybe she's acting, and her character is cluelessly committing this personal space invasion — and major Black hair no-no — for comic effect, or to induce tension in the scene. Or maybe Paulson isn't acting and just really wanted to touch her gorgeous co-stars mane — not realizing the often fetishistic nature of doing so.
People are reacting to the meme with a mixture of biting humor and disdain. "I just think that all lives matter and it's not a race thing. Btw love the corn roads," someone on Twitter captioned the photo, playing up the pseudo-woke white person angle. "I love you guys hair. How'd you get it like this? Can I touch it?" tweeted another. "Rihanna looks like she has Kill Bill sirens going off in her head bc Sarah Paulson's touching her hair," another commenter observed.
But this tweet sums up how most of us probably feel about it: "Really hoping this is part of the movie and Sarah Paulson didn't actually try to touch Rihanna's hair like that." We shouldn't get too carried away without knowing either way. Guess we'll have to wait until 2018 to find out what's what.