Celebrities who sported controversial Halloween costumes

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle

No. Just no. That pretty much sums up our thoughts on the costumes these famous folks opted to sport for Halloween. From Julianne Hough in blackface to Chris Brown as a member of the Taliban, may these stars be a lesson of what not to do this year.

Julianne Hough

We shouldn’t have to say it, but changing your skin color to that of another race is a big old no. Julianne Hough dressed as Orange Is the New Black’s Crazy Eyes in 2013 — complete with blackface. The dancer later apologized, saying, “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.” (Photo: Devone Byrd/PacificCoastNews)

Prince Harry

Quick — hide this from Meghan Markle! In 2005, a 21-year-old Prince Harry went to a costume party dressed as a Nazi — swastika and all. And, yes, he publicly apologized, too. (Photo: Reuters)

Hilary Duff and Jason Walsh

The actress’s brief relationship with trainer beau Jason Walsh came to a screeching halt after they stepped out in these culturally insensitive costumes — a sexy pilgrim (yes, there is a sexy version of everything!) and Native American chief — in 2016. The Younger star apologized via social media, writing, “It was not properly thought through and I am truly, from the bottom of my [heart] sorry.” Walsh took to social media to admit he made a bad decision, too. (Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images)

Colton Haynes

The Teen Wolf star changed his skin color to be Kanye West in 2011 and, clearly not learning a lesson, Gandhi in 2012. It wasn’t until 2013 that he apologized, saying, “I wasn’t aware that I was offending people, but that wasn’t my intention at all, and I really — I haven’t apologized yet, but I wanted to apologize for that. And that won’t be happening again.” (Photo: Colton Haynes via Twitter)

Chris Brown

The singer dressed up as a member of the Taliban in 2013 — and wasn’t sorry for it.
“Get over it, people! I was dressed as the people we killed — Bin Laden!” he later said. Sadly, that is one of the least offensive things he’s done. (Photo: Chris Brown via Twitter)

Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna

Again, swastikas are a no. In 2015, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna went as Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and that included this offensive shirt. The Real Housewives personality apologized on their behalf, saying, “We were being authentic to the characters of Sid [Vicious] and Nancy for our Halloween costumes, it hurt and angered many of you and we are deeply sorry for that.” (Photo: Amy Graves/Getty Images)

Jason Aldean

“People are so sensitive!” That was what the country singer said when called out for dressing in blackface to be Lil Wayne in 2015. “Me doing that had zero malicious intent. I get that race is a touchy subject, but not everybody is that way.” (Photo: nashvillegab.com)

Heidi Klu

In 2008, the so-called Queen of Halloween courted controversy by dressing as Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. Her portrait of the deity with the vampire fangs and a skirt made of severed bloody hands upset Hindu leaders. (Photo: Charles Eshelman/Getty Images)

Scott Disick

The reality TV star has made loads of bad decisions — just ask Kourtney Kardashian. But in 2014, he was called out for dressing as an Arab sheik. (Photo: Scott Disick via Instagram)


In 2014, the singer wore this ensemble for a performance. After being called out for looking like a Jewish man, he spoke out. “My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more,” he wrote, adding that he acknowledged “how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention.” (Photo: Suzi Pratt/Getty Images)

Paris Hilton

Years before, in 2010, the socialite also offended as a sexy Native American. (Photo: X17)

Nicky Hilton

However, no lessons were learned by Paris’s inappropriate costume. Her sister did something similar in 2015 (Photo: John Misa/MediaPunch/IPX)

Ashley Benson

The Pretty Little Liars star didn’t even wear this on Halloween and she was apologizing. Leading up to the big day in 2015, she shared this photo of herself in a lion costume on social media with the caption, “Help! Can’t decide on my Halloween costume this year! What do you guys think of this Cecil the Lion costume?” You know — the 13-year-old lion that was illegally killed in Zimbabwe by a U.S. dentist. She later delete the pic, which she described as an “unfortunate oversight” as a “supporter of animal conservation.” (Photo: Ashely Benson via Instagram)

Chris Hemsworth

The actor and some friends dressed as Native Americans for a 2016 New Year’s party. He was called out at the time, but apologized some 10 months later when announced he was supporting the Standing Rock protests in the U.S. “Last New Year’s Eve I was at a Lone Ranger-themed party where some of us, myself included, wore the traditional dress of First Nations people,” he explained. “I was stupidly unaware of the offense this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue.” (Photo: Luke Hemsworth via Instagram)

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