Tamar Braxton Defends Julianne Hough's Blackface Costume: "She Looks Like Me With a Tan!"

"What she looks like is definitely not offensive to me," African-American singer says of star's controversial Orange Is the New Black costume

By Rebecca Macatee Oct 30, 2013 3:50 PMTags
Julianne HoughDevone Byrd, PacificCoastNews/Rommel Demano/Getty Images

Julianne Hough has come under a lot of fire for wearing blackface as part of her Halloween costume, but Tamar Braxton has no issue with the controversial makeup.

On Monday, Oct. 28, the singer defended the 25-year-old actress's portrayal of Orange Is the New Black character Crazy Eyes (portrayed by Uzo Aduba) on VH1's The Big Morning Buzz. "She doesn't look African-American to me," Tamar said. "She looks like me with a tan!"

"I mean," she clarified, "I am African-American, but I'm just saying—like if you had four tans on top of each other—you know what I'm saying, like the spray tans? That's what she looks like!"

"I think people are on team too much right now, cause it's Halloween, and you should go dressed as you want to," she continued. "Would you be offended if I wore a conehead and painted myself white?  I mean, it's not like you are trying to be racist or offensive or anything like that."

"You're drunk by the time you figure out who people are," she said. "It's not that serious. And what she looks like is definitely not offensive to me. I mean I wouldn't think nothing of it."

Julianne addressed her controversial costume on Twitter on Saturday, Oct. 26 , writing, "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."

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And while Uzo herself has yet to publicly comment on the incident,  her Orange Is the New Black costar Laverne Cox was not amused.  The actress, who plays male-to-female transgender inmate Sophia, told Entertainment Weekly, "It's historically tricky in this country to re-create blackface. I'm not opposed to someone having their form of expression, but she seemed to be completely unaware of the historical implications going in, and I think that's problematic. If you want to make a choice like that, I think it's important to understand the historical context you are walking into."

Wendy Williams had some much harsher words for Julianne, calling her "ignorant" and scolding, "I don't know what part of stupid—or, excuse me, less than smart—she is....Who walks out of the house in blackface? Like, wow, Julianne. I don't know whose party she was at, but you have to figure this: This was, like, an intentional move."

Julianne's brother Derek Hough, however, told E! News his little sister is "mortified" and "just beyond beside herself."

"Obviously, it wasn't her brightest moment in her life," he said, "but hopefully we can move on."