Ah, Halloween is upon us. The time of year when anyone can become anything they choose to be! Whether it’s a witch, or a zombie, or a favorite superhero, you can embody that character for one special night.
And, if you try hard enough, you can even become a racist!
Hilary Duff attended a Halloween party on Friday with her boyfriend, trainer Jason Walsh. The pair duo decided that the perfect Halloween couples costume would be (drumroll, please): a pilgrim and a Native American.
And yes, they’re both white AF.
Apparently, nobody explained to the pair was that Walsh’s costume is actually a form of cultural appropriation. Whoopsy! I thought that’s what publicists were for, but I guess not!
(Also, kind of awkward that Jason was forced to wear the racially-insensitive portion of the costume. Dude seriously got the short end of the stick, here.)
Not surprisingly, Twitter was definitely quick to point out the offensiveness of Walsh’s costume choice.
The move struck many as particularly tone-deaf in light of the recent arrest of over 100 Native American people who were protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on their land. (Proof that Native American culture is still marginalized or commodified on a daily basis.)
After a rather pregnant pause, Duff responded to the criticism with a seemingly heartfelt apology — er, tweet.
As for Walsh, he took to Instagram to express his personal regrets over his costume choice.
The truly bizarre part is that this certainly isn’t the first time that celebrities have been corrected for wearing racially insensitive Halloween costumes. Several years ago, Ellie Goulding was slammed for dressing up in a Native American Halloween costume, and earlier this year, Chris Hemsworth apologized for wearing a Native American costume at a New Year’s Eve party. This certainly isn’t uncharted territory, and the reality of cultural appropriation feels like something everyone (including celebrities) should be aware of by now.
So please take this as a friendly reminder that yes, you probably do look sexy in your little Native American-inspired costume. But please, do us all a favor and dress in literally ANY OTHER SEXY COSTUME THAT EXISTS.
If you need help, I’ve compiled a list right here.