Julianne Hough is a changed woman since getting major backlash over her role in ‘The Activist.’
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the CBS show “will see activists compete in missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events” in order to “bring meaningful change to one of three urgent universal causes: health, education and the environment.”
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Back in 2013, Hough wore blackface for Halloween while dressing up as a Uzo Aduba’s character Crazy Eyes from “Orange Is the New Black.”
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Some reactions on Twitter included, “Considering how incredibly horrid the premise of this show is, it doesn’t seem fairly on brand to include a celeb that dressed in blackface to be a part of it,” while another wrote, “I’m kinda fascinated by the choice to have Julianne Hough host The Activist. Like did they forget her whole Halloween blackface incident, or did they hire her…. because of it? Anyway I have to go throw up now.”
Big wigs at CBS have since repackaged the show into a documentary with no judges or aspects of judging.
Last month, Hough opened up about the social media firestorm her role on the show created.
Julianne’s Letter To Upset Fans
In a four slide note she started off saying, “The last few days have been a powerful demonstration of real-time activism. Thank you for using your voices, calling me in, your accountability. and your candor. I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind: After the press release announcing The Activist, I heard you say that the show was performative, promoted pseudo-activism over real activism, felt tone-deaf, like Black Mirror, The Hunger Games, and that the hosts weren’t qualified to assess activism because we are celebrities and not activists.”
“I also heard you say that trying to value one cause over another felt like the Oppression Olympics and totally missed and disrespected the many activists who have been killed, assaulted and faced various abuses fighting for their causes. And because of all this, there is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and had that is being rightfully felt,” her note continued. “I do not claim to be an activist and wholeheartedly agree that the judging aspect of the show missed the mark and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge. On top of all this, many people are just becoming aware that I wore blackface in ma which only further added insult to injury.”
Now, in a new interview with People, the pro-dancer is opening up about how she educated herself in the wake of the backlash.
“I think the greatest thing that I learned is to listen to what’s happening, to gather information and to really try to learn,’ the 33-year-old celeb told the outlet over the weekend while appearing at the EMA Awards Gala in Van Nuys, California.
She added that the backlash and outcry ignited a ‘fire’ in her ‘to focus’ more on the things that need attention.
Hough said, “the greatest thing you can do is to just learn and to grow and to be open to different perspectives.”
In order to ‘learn and to grow,’ Hough spoke with multiple activists.
“I reached out to so many people who offered their knowledge and their perspective in a way that was inviting and welcoming versus being judgmental,” she said.