It's always controversial when a Caucasian celebrity dons blackface — just think of Julianne Hough, who dressed up as Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black at Halloween last year. Is it as controversial when an African-American celebrity dons whiteface?
Nick Cannon has done just that to promote his upcoming album, called White People Party Music. He was so proud of the look that he posted a photo on Instagram in which he is barely recognizable.
Besides the color of his skin, the America's Got Talent host dons a red wig, a beanie and a flannel shirt with acid-washed jeans. It's a strong departure from his usual upscale-casual look.
He captioned the photo, "It's official... I'm White!!! #WHITEPEOPLEPARTYMUSIC #Wppm in stores April 1st!!!!!!Dude Go Get It!!!Join The Party!!!! #GoodCredit #DogKissing #BeerPong #FarmersMarkets #FistPumping #CreamCheeseEating #RacialDraft "Bro I got drafted!!"
Fans immediately started tweeting the musician with questions about how he felt as a white person.
Other followers on Twitter immediately responded with messages that it was racist for a black man to don whiteface. However, Cannon retweeted one follower's note about the difference between the two issues in a historical context.
Stop claiming that @NickCannon's use of "White Face" is the same thing as "Black Face." Your ignorance of history and power is showing.— Jamie Utt (@utt_jamie) March 24, 2014
While Cannon surely is having fun with his new look, what do you think about whiteface? Is it racist or not?
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