Backlash to Julianne Hough’s role in “The Activist”: “Wearing Blackface Was A Poor Choice.”
Julianne Hough has reacted to the negative press surrounding her new series “The Activist.” The actress, along with Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Usher, confirmed last week that she will co-host the CBS reality show.
Hough acknowledged the response on Instagram on Tuesday, writing, “The last few days have been a strong show of real-time activism.” She also expressed regret for wearing a blackface costume for Halloween in the past.
Some social media users stated the show was “performative, pushed pseudo-activism above real activism, felt tone-deaf, like Black Mirror, The Hunger Games, and the hosts weren’t prepared to assess activism,” according to the 33-year-old dancer and actress.
The vitriol was directed at them because they were “celebrities, not activists,” according to the “Dancing with the Stars” star.
Hough added that she “does not pretend to be an activist” and that she “completely agrees” that the show’s judging “missed the mark” and that she “is not qualified to participate as a judge.”
The actress from “Rock of Ages” also expressed regret for dressing up as Crazy Eyes from Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” for a Halloween party in 2013.
She added, “Wearing blackface was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and white body bias that injured others and is something I regret to this day.”
“However, my regret pales in comparison to what so many others have gone through,” she continued. “I’ve made a commitment to think and act differently. Not flawlessly, but hopefully with a better knowledge of how racism and white supremacy damage everyone.”
“I was extremely excited to be a part of something that recognizes, and is based around spreading activists’ work on a broader platform,” Hough said of signing up for this show.
She noted that while “no reaction” will satisfy everyone, she wants everyone to know that “this is a discussion” and that she is “still listening.”
“The Activist” is a five-episode drama that will premiere on CBS Network on October 22. It will also be available to watch live on Paramount Plus. Six activists from around the world will compete in the tournament.