"Orange Is the New Black" star Laverne Cox has weighed in controversy surrounding Julianne Hough's blackface Halloween costume. Dressing up as Black Eyes from the popular Netflix series, Hough attended a party with her friends on Friday, October 25. Hough later apologized via Twitter, saying that she was a fan of the show and actress Uzo Aduba who plays the character.
Although Aduba has not said anything about the costume, Cox has spoken out. She told Us Weekly as she attended 10 Years After The Prime Time Closet - A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theater in Hollywood on October 28 that she "wasn't offended." She explained, "I thought it was a shame that she is in this country, that she would wear blackface and not understand the historical implications of that."
"I don't think Julianne is making a specific informed choice to comment on blackness. I just think it's out of this ignorance. That's really sad," she continued. Cox, who is also a transgender activist, added in a more positive tone, saying that Hough was "obviously a fan of our show. I love Crazy Eyes too."
The "Safe Haven" actress' brother, Derek Hough, also spoke out concerning the issue after performing on "Dancing with the Stars". He told E! News, "She's so apologetic. She's so, so sorry and I just hope that we can all forgive her and move on. She's my little baby sister and she's the sweetest thing ever. She is just beyond beside herself."
In addition, Valentin Chmerkovskiy defended the dancing competition's former pro dancer on Monday night. Speaking to CNN, he said, "I know Julianne personally and none of the critique that she is getting at all relates to her as a person, period. Whether it was a smart decision is a different conversation. But the intention, and going deep into the conversation of judging her character, of what she may or may not think behind the scenes - that is absurd. I know her as a person and she is kind and graceful ... and she has the right mentality. I just think it was a stupid mistake."
A "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, Bill Engvall, also shared similar thoughts as others, saying that Hough did not have "a mean bone in her body." He added, "And so I would say it was probably just an innocent mistake. ... Trust me, I've had things taken the way I didn't want things."