Julianne Hough's Blackface, Plus 5 Other Celebs Who Should Have Rethought Their Offensive Costumes

Heidi Klum, Selena Gomez, Ted Danson and more offensive stars

By Brett Malec Oct 28, 2013 11:09 PMTags
Julianne Hough, Controversial Halloween CostumesDevone Byrd, PacificCoastNews

By now, most of you have heard about Julianne Hough's blackface Orange Is the New Black Halloween costume.

The dancer turned actress hit a Hollywood Halloween party over the weekend wearing dark makeup and dark hair, angering many due to the costume's racial undertones.

Hough apologized for the blackface controversy, saying, "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."

But Hough isn't the first celebrity who should have thought twice before stepping out in an offensive outfit. We count down five other star costumes that caused controversy.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

5. Selena Gomez: The 21-year-old pop singer (and her bindi!) angered Hindu groups with her April 2013 "Come & Get It" performance at the MTV Movie Awards. "The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance," Rajan Zed, leader of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said post-performance. "It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed. Selena should apologize and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions."

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4. Ted Danson: Hough's not the first! At a 1993 Friars Club Roast honoring his then girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg, Danson appeared in minstrel-style blackface and made several racially charged jokes during the comedy show. The next day, the Friars Club apologized, saying in a statement they were "saddened by the racially offensive nature of some of the material."

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3. Heidi Klum: Klum (always known for wowing with her Halloween costumes) caused controversy among Hindu's for her 2008 goddess Kali getup. "Goddess Kali is highly revered in Hinduism and she is meant to be worshipped in temples and not to be used in clubs for publicity stunts or thrown around loosely for dramatic effects," Rajan Zed (name sound familiar?) said. "Hindus welcome Hollywood and other entertainment industries to immerse themselves in Hinduism, but they should take it seriously and respectfully, and not just use the religion for decoration or to advance their selfish agenda."

2. Russell Brand: The Brit funnyman shocked many (not just Americans) when he appeared on U.K. TV as Osama bin Laden just one day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! Not that there's much that can excuse Brand's insensitivity, but that was before he got clean and sober from drugs and alcohol.

1. Prince Harry: Possibly the most famously offensive costume in recent history is Prince Harry's 2005 Nazi officer ensemble and swastika armband, which caused a worldwide frenzy of controversy (and the famous Sun headline "Harry the Nazi"). Clarence House issued a statement afterwards, saying, "Prince Harry has apologized for any offence or embarrassment he has caused. He realizes it was a poor choice of costume."

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Bonus: Comedian Jeff Ross arrived to the 2012 Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne dressed as disgraced Penn State coach Joe Paterno accompanied by two younger boys dressed in only football helmets and bath towels. The insensitive appearance was made just a handful of months after Paterno died following his involvement in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.