In 2013, Hough sparked a major controversy when she dressed up as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren from Orange Is the New Black–wearing blackface. As one can imagine, the getup didn’t sit well with many people, and her mistake was quickly labeled as racist.
Hough issued an apology following the incident, writing on Twitter (via Us Weekly): “I am a huge fan of the show Orange Is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. 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.”
Despite Hough’s ‘I’m sorry” PSA, the backlash lingered for a while, and the gaffe marked her first major controversy in the spotlight. Hough, who is now a bit more reserved and self-aware thanks to the eye-opening incident, told Allure in 2015: “Ignorance is sometimes not bliss. I really had no idea what I was doing, and it was all out of fun and respect for the character … It makes me so sad to think that I was that dumb. I learned a big lesson.”
And if you’ve been paying attention to Hough’s Halloween costumes since the incident, it’s clear she has learned her lesson about keeping a low profile on the holiday. Hough’s outfits post “Crazy Eyes” have all been super low-key, like her Poison Ivy costume in 2017. You can’t go wrong with a DC Comics character, right?