Just when you thought Kerry Washington couldn't be anymore deserving of our undying admiration, she goes and does something like this. The Scandal star apparently sat through a showing of Steve Jobs recently, after which she tweeted about how much she loved the film. "Finally saw #SteveJobsMovie tonight," she wrote. "Kate Winslet is my spirit animal. And @adamshapiro is supes perfect! Great acting all around." Nice of her to call out her fellow Tinseltowners on their accomplishments, absolutely. But can you spot the faux pas nestled in this tweet? Nope, we're not talking about usage of "supes." (But that should not be a thing, guys. It's only one less letter than "super," so why?) We're referring to her use of the phrase "spirit animal," which is objectionable because of how it may be perceived as mocking certain cultural values. Pretty soon, Twitter users began to pile on, saying that Washington was wrong to use the phrase.
Not everyone thinks that using the phrase "spirit animal" is offensive — plenty of other people stepped forward and said that the actress' tweet should be a non-issue. "How is saying 'spirit animal' cultural appropriation? That's not a white phrase. Everyone says that," one user wrote (admittedly missing the point). Fortunately, the back and forth didn't become too vitriolic either way before Washington stepped in and wiped the slate clean. "So, Id never been schooled to concept that using 'spirit animal' in the way I just did is cultural appropriation. I get it. I apologize. TY!" she tweeted about 20 minutes after her initial post on the subject. And then, she pulled what was either a brilliant marketing move or a genuine moment of adoration for internet users out of her back pocket. "I love how much I learn from social media. I love being in conversation with you. I appreciate this community. I really do. #Grateful," she added. And just like that, it was over, and at least one person was a little wiser than before the dialogue began.