Former Disney star Hilary Duff is the latest celebrity to come under fire for dressing up in a controversial Halloween outfit. Like many other celebrities (and just people in general), Duff decided to have a bit of fun at a party by dressing up in costume.
Together with her boyfriend, Jason Walsh, the duo attended the annual Casamigos Halloween party in Los Angeles this past Friday. She wore a sexy pilgrim outfit to complement her boyfriend’s Native American costume, replete with a war bonnet and buckskin ribbon shirt. Their costumes were as mundane as it gets, but the offense they caused to the overly sensitive was immeasurable.
After a photograph of their outing surfaced on social media, social justice warriors took to voicing their outrage over their “offensive,” and “disrespectful” behavior. Sites like Jezebel and Huffington Post were quick to heap condemnation upon the actress and her beau.
She and her boyfriend were since forced to apologize for their “appalling” behavior. On Twitter, Duff said that her costume wasn’t properly thought through and that she apologized unreservedly.
I am SO sorry to people I offended with my costume.It was not properly thought through and I am truly, from the bottom of my ❤️sorry.
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) October 30, 2016
On Instagram, Duff’s boyfriend Jason Walsh posted an image stating he meant no disrespect and was sorry for offending people.
The image first made its rounds when a Dreamworks writer and Henson puppeteer, Benjamin Siemon, blew the whole thing out of proportion in a tweet where he described the costumes as “What White People Thought Was Appropriate in the 1950’s.”
Cool pic of Hillary Duff and her boyfriend dressing up for Halloween as "What White People Thought Was Appropriate in the 1950's" pic.twitter.com/IDZiu5cwou
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) October 30, 2016
As the tweet spread all across the Internet, many of the responses toward his claim that the outfits were racist were met with confusion and disagreement.
One user asked why anyone would consider it inappropriate, and pointed out that Halloween itself was a Celtic tradition that was “culturally appropriated” by non-Irish people. Like many other social justice warriors, Siemon revealed his views on cultural diffusion by responding, “I think it’s pretty common practice to not dress up as other races these days, but go for it! Follow your dreams.”
Regardless of hyperbole, his tweets should be considered mild when compared to the barrage of outrage Duff received. Some outraged tweeters invoked the Dakota pipeline protest and called her both ignorant and evil for her sin of wearing a Pilgrim outfit.
— fadumo (@faaaadumo) October 29, 2016
@HilaryDuff Gurl. You need to look at whats going on at Standing Rock. Think before you do.
— Woke Alaskan (@Alaskan_Nazgul) October 30, 2016
@HilaryDuff Do you even know anything about Standing Rock? Or the Dakota Access Pipeline? Or the Water Protectors? Or American History?
— Magdalena Ha'li (@Kisumisuja) October 30, 2016
It’s 2016, and you’re not allowed to have fun anymore.