There is an acceptable way to portray your favorite characters, but that wasn't it.
There is still tons of cultural appropriation going on in entertainment, fashion, media, you name it. Still, in 2013, one would hope that we’ve at least moved on from blackface – not so, it would seem, as Safe Haven actress Julianne Hough was so keen to demonstrate ahead of Halloween this year. In a misguided nod of appreciation to the hit series Orange Is the New Black, Hough donned an orange jumpsuit, a “Crazy Eyes” nametag (apparently portraying) Orange character Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren… and painted herself with a thick layer of shiny brown makeup.
The platinum blonde, caucasian actress somehow decided it would be okay to wear blackface to a party.
Given the tradition of using blackface to mock the entirety of the black American population, and its use to denote black people as “other.” In short, not cool. Twitter users, bloggers and the general population of the internet was quick to point this out to Ms Hough.
Not a great look for Julianne.
In her defense, she did apologize and despite the appropriative costume, it was not the classic celebrity non-apology we’ve come to expect. "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," Hough tweeted. There’s a lesson to be learned in this. Somewhere.
Uzo Aduba has maturely stayed away from the whole thing.