Photo Credit: Courtesy of Derek Hough/Instagram
If we were to rank all the new characters to appear on TV this year, Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black would definitely make the Top 3. Played by the incredible actress Uzo Aduba, Crazy Eyes is an inmate with serious psychological problems and a mysterious backstory. She may be a childlike idiot or a total genius. She's charming one minute and terrifying the next. What we're saying is, we totally understand why Julianne Hough would want to be Crazy Eyes for Halloween.
She just made one pretty big mistake with her costume. She decided to wear blackface.
This weekend, photos emerged of the Dancing with the Stars dancer at a Halloween party with her friends, all dressed as Orange Is the New Black characters. Hough was the only one of them who actually darkened her skin with make-up. Apparently, she didn't see the problem. (The problem, in case it's not obvious, is that blackface has been used to demean and dehumanize people of color for more than a century. You can learn more by reading this, or see examples in this hard-to-stomach video compilation.)
We understand that Julianne Hough was trying to be a more authentic version of her character. But there are many other, more creative ways she could have embodied Crazy Eyes. Such as:
She could have thrown pie at people.
She could have passed out dandelions and recited this poem.
She could have peed on the floor. Inappropriate, yes. Worse than blackface? No!
Fortunately, Julianne is compassionate enough to understand that she messed up. In an extended Twitter post on Saturday, she wrote, "I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize."
True, the costume wasn't classy -- but at least the apology was.
WATCH: Julianne Hough Apologizes for her Inappropriate Halloween Costume