This Country Singer Doesn’t Get Why Blackface Is Offensive

Photo: Jim Smeal/REX/Shutterstock.
Country singer Jason Aldean is defending his controversial 2015 Halloween costume that had him dressing up as rapper Lil Wayne, complete with blackface. In an interview with Billboard, Aldean, for the very first time, discussed the photo of him in dark makeup, sunglasses and gold chains that set the Twitterverse on fire. He said he found the costume in a store and painted his face so that he wouldn't be recognized in public. “In this day and age people are so sensitive that no matter what you do," Aldean said about the costume, which his publicist confirmed was Lil Wayne shortly after the photo went viral. "Somebody is going to make a big deal out of it." Aldean told the magazine he meant "zero malicious intent" with the costume, blaming the media for putting a racially insensitive spin on the look. "I get that race is a touchy subject, but not everybody is that way," Aldean said. "Media tends to make a big deal out of things. If that was disrespectful to anyone, I by all means apologize. That was never my intention." He then added, "It never crossed my mind.” Aldean, whose new album, They Don’t Know, debuted today, isn't the first celebrity to get in trouble for wearing blackface on Halloween, unfortunately. In 2013, Julianne Hough darkened her skin to dress as Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black.

Hough apologized for her costume days later, tweeting, "It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize." Two years later, she would tell Allure, "Ignorance is sometimes not bliss." As one person tweeted shortly after Aldean's costume mishap: "Nobody needs to be in blackface to successfully pull off a Lil Wayne costume." Or a Crazy Eyes costume...or any costume for that matter. Keep that in mind this Halloween and every single one after.

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