Julianne Hough Blames Her ‘Own Suffering’ for 2013 Blackface Costume Controversy

Time to reflect. Julianne Hough is taking accountability for her past blackface Halloween costume controversy — and putting in the work to face the difficult conversation.

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The Dancing With the Stars alum, 31, recounted her feelings about her Orange Is the New Black costume from 2013 in a conversation with Kimberly Blackwell via Instagram Live on Wednesday, June 17.

“I was in my own suffering, wasn’t able to see the macro suffering, and made it about myself and I centered myself in the situation because I wanted people so badly to understand me and my character that I couldn’t see the suffering of so many others,” Hough explained.

She blamed her actions on her “socialization” and said that she doesn’t feel the need to “punish” herself for the past. The Footloose star admitted that she didn’t use the past seven years to educate herself on racism but instead hoped to push the incident under the rug.

“I wanted people to ignore, I wanted people to forget, I wanted to hide, but that was bigger than suppression not only for myself but for black people,” Hough said. “And that is not the stance that I have ever wanted to take, but my fear got in the way, and the fear causes nervousness, causes uncertainty, causes ‘I’m gonna say something wrong so let me just hide.'”

Julianne Hough Blames Her Own Suffering for Blackface Costume Controversy
Julianne Hough MediaPunch/Shutterstock

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Now, Hough is ready to better understand racial inequality and use her voice to make a difference.

“It is my duty, it is my privilege, it is my honor, as a white woman to figure out what I have to do to help dismantle racism and that is where I’m starting right now,” the Utah native said. “And I’m learning, I’m getting my books, I’m not just posting, because Instagram is not the only platform to show that you care.”

She added, “It happened, it is what it is and now I’m here to join the conversation.”

Hough came under fire in 2013 after she dressed as Uzo Aduba’s character Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black in 2013. The Grease: Live star donned an orange jumpsuit and blackface makeup for the costume. Hough later apologized for the controversial choice after she received backlash.

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“I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created,” she wrote at the time via Twitter. “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.”

The Rock of Ages star has been addressing other sensitive topics in her personal life recently. Hough announced her split from her husband, Brooks Laich, after nearly three years of marriage in May. The Kinrgy founder took to her Instagram Live on Wednesday sans her wedding ring.

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