As Dancing with the Stars alum and actress Julianne Hough faces some tough criticism for her involvement in the new CBS series The Activist, the dancing pro is apologizing for her 2013 blackface scandal where she dressed up as Crazy Eyes from Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. According to the New York Post, Hough took to Instagram to address the situation, writing a lengthy statement.
“The last few days have been a powerful demonstration of real-time activism,” Hough began. “Thank you for using your voices, calling me in, your accountability, and your candor. I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind.”
“Wearing blackface was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and my own white body bias that hurt people and is something I regret doing to this day,” she said. “However, the regret that I live with pales in comparison to the lived experiences of so many. My commitment has been to reflect and act differently. Not perfectly, but hopefully with a more developed understanding that racism and white supremacy is harmful to ALL people.”
This marks the second time Hough has acknowledged the incident and apologized.
“I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created,” she tweeted back in 2013. “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.”
wait did Julianna Hough really do blackface for Halloween?????? Is this what I am seeing pic.twitter.com/d3DX6skama
— طيطي (@neferteetee_) November 2, 2013
Aduba gracefully accepted her apology, according to E! News.
“I think maybe it was an unfortunate event, but she apologized and I feel like we can all move on,” she told the outlet.
The Activist is a competition series where activists go head-to-head in various challenges in an attempt to raise money for their cause. Hough, along with Usher and Priyanka Chopra, was scheduled to co-host and judge the competition. The CBS series faced a wave of backlash as many called the premise “tone deaf” and gave “performative work” a higher platform. Furthermore, Hough also addressed the complaint that the judges weren’t qualified to oversee the competitors since they weren’t activists themselves.
“And because of this, there is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and hurt that is being rightfully felt. I do not claim to be an activist and wholeheartedly agree that the judging aspect of the show missed the mark and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge,” she wrote.
“It feels important for me to share that the original reason I signed on to this show was because I was really excited to be a part of something that highlights, and is centered around sharing activists’ work on a larger platform,” she added. “In doing so, I felt it would help educate, mobilize, and inspire people around the world to get involved in activism because many worthy causes need attention, funding, and most importantly the power to effect real change.”