Racism has long been a serious issue in the United States. Even though the Civil Rights era was decades ago, we are still dealing with very real forms of discrimination in this country. From shocking comments made in the media to instances of police brutality, it’s clear to see that there is still a lot of work to be done.
It’s also not a huge surprise that racism has been pretty prevalent in Hollywood. Actors and actresses have talked about the lack of roles for people of color for years now. Models have even complained that makeup artists and hairstylists are not trained to apply cosmetics or style hair for people of color.
Unfortunately, there are some celebrities who are racist, but they just don’t want you to know it. Sure, some of these famous people have said things that can clearly be interpreted as racist, but they don’t want this negative label associated with their names. That doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to adopt a new world view, though. Fortunately, some of these celebrities have seen the error of their ways, and will hopefully learn to speak carefully in the future. Here are 12 celebrities who don’t want you to know they’re racist.
12 Kelly Osbourne
Television host, singer and fashion designer Kelly Osbourne, definitely put her foot in her mouth recently when she made some racist comments while co-hosting on The View. She didn’t exactly mean for the comments to be offensive, though. Kelly was actually trying to refute Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans in his campaign speech. She said, “if you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?” It’s easy to see why the Latino community wasn’t too happy with Osbourne’s comment. Kelly issued a public apology on her page, saying that she always takes responsibility or her actions, and that she messed up, but she’s not racist. Some say the apology is just a way to retain her fan base, and that if she didn’t really mean what she said about Latinos, she wouldn’t have said it.
California-born rapper Kreayshawn, got into a lot of trouble in 2012 when she allegedly went on a Twitter rant about Black people. She supposedly Tweeted that she “wished slavery was still goin’ on” and that she didn’t “need Black fans anyway” because according to her, Black people don’t buy records. After these Tweets were released, Kreayshawn claimed that her Twitter account had been hacked. She “apologized “ for the Tweets by saying, “I am sorry, I love fried chicken!” Since her apology was as racist as her original comments, it’s hard to believe that someone hacked into her Twitter account to type those offensive comments.
10 Asher Roth
Caucasian rapper Asher Roth got into some serious trouble with his fans in 2009 when he Tweeted that he was “hanging out with nappy-headed hoes.” There’s no way that could be a compliment. Maybe the Pennsylvania-born rapper thought he could get away with that kind of language because Black rappers use it, but that doesn’t make it right, and it’s offensive, no matter where it comes from. Roth rose to fame in 2009 when his single I Love College hit the airwaves. The single was followed by Lark On My Go Kart and an album entitled Asleep In the Bread Aisle.
9 Guiliana Rancic
Rancic has publicly apologized for the racist comments she made about Disney star Zendaya, but some of her former fans are still skeptical. Guiliana alluded to the fact that Zendaya probably smelled like patchouli because of the actress’ faux locks, and didn’t object when Kelly Osbourne added that Zendaya may also smell like weed. Of course, Zendaya was offended (as she should have been), and stated that she wanted to showcase the hairstyle in a positive light, and wanted people of color to know that there is nothing wrong with their hair choices. Guiliana stated that she didn’t mean to hurt anyone, and certainly didn’t mean to offend Zendaya. However, some wonder if she just didn’t mean to get caught.
8 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan was pretty popular in the 1980s and early 1990s for being part of the WWF and WWE. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, has also been in the news lately for making racist comments. Transcripts were submitted to a court in Florida as part of the retired wrestler's lawsuit against Gawker.com. These transcripts come from a sex tape that Bollea made with the wife of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, a shock jock based in Tampa. In the tape, he discusses his daughter’s relationship with a “black billionaire.” Hulk Hogan apologized for the offensive remarks, but the WWE still removed him from their Hall of Fame and took his name and photos from their website.
7 Jesse James
As if being a jerk who doesn’t know the meaning of commitment when it comes to relationships isn’t enough, Jesse James is also pretty racist. In 2004, James, who is most known for his failed marriage to actress Sandra Bullock, was photographed doing a Nazi salute and wearing a Nazi hat. This decreased his popularity with the general public even more than when it was revealed he’d slept with several other women while married to Bullock. James then moved on to celebrity tattoo artist and businesswoman Kat Von D, but was reportedly unfaithful to her as well, even though the two were engaged to be married.
6 Miley Cyrus
Most people would agree that it’s time for Miley Cyrus to take a break from the spotlight. Maybe this will help you take a long, hard look at her life, and re-emerge into Hollywood as a well-adjusted adult. The former Disney princess who is best known for playing Hannah Montana, got lots of criticism when she was photographed pulling up the corner of her eyes to make them look slanted. The Asian community didn’t think it was funny. Cyrus has also gotten into more hot water by talking about Nicki Minaj’s “attitude” about being snubbed at the VMAs. Some are asserting that Cyrus is associating Nicki’s anger with the “attitude” that Black people are often (unfairly) associated with.
5 Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton has tried her hand at being a businesswoman and starring in reality television, and she’s done better than most at these ventures. But the thing she’s most known for is being a hotel heiress, which is perhaps why her other financial ventures were even mildly successful. Of course, there was also that sex tape that featured Hilton and her stint of jail and community service for getting a DUI. Hilton is, unfortunately, also known for being racist. She is quoted in the book, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead by Neil Strauss as saying that she “can’t stand black guys” and would never touch a Black man because “it’s gross.” There’s no way to fix that up.
4 John Mayer
John Mayer, though he is a talented musician, is also known for being a huge jerk when it comes to women. He’s been in relationships with Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston and Katy Perry. He’s reportedly broken up with Perry more than once, and even said she wasn’t interesting. There are also reports that he’s the one who broke up with Jennifer Aniston, not the other way around. Mayer’s past relationships make it obvious that he as a “type,” which is fine, but not when it’s racially motivated. During a 2010 interview with Playboy, Mayer stated that his d*ck is “sort of like a white supremacist.”
3 Mel Gibson
It’s disappointing to know that the man behind movies like Braveheart and The Patriot, is such an angry racist. Yes, Mel Gibson has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but he’s still got to take responsibility for keeping his outbursts intact. In 2006 when he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, Gibson told the policeman who arrested him that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Four years later, Gibson went on an angry,racist tirade against his ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva. Perhaps it’s a good thing that we haven’t heard much from Mel Gibson in the last few years.
2 Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling was the former owner of the LA Clippers. In 2014, Sterling’s business empire came tumbling down when he was recorded making racist statements to his mistress V. Stiviano. Stiviano is both Mexican and African-American, and released the tape to TMZ of Sterling telling her not to associate with Black people in public. He especially wanted her to stay away from African-American people at Clippers games. Once investigators for the NBA determined that the voice on the recording was indeed Sterling’s and wasn’t altered, he was permanently banned from the organization. He was also fined $2.5 million and had to sell the LA Clippers, which is worth up to $500 million.
1 Paula Deen
Paula Deen was loved by many, and known as the queen of Southern cuisine. That is, until she was caught in a racial controversy in 2013. The chef and television personality admitted that she’d used the “n” word, and a former employee of Deen’s accused her of racial harassment. The Food Network decided to let Deen go, and she’s been working hard to re-vamp her career since then. Some wonder whether Paula Deen has learned her lesson, since she and her son Bobby, were photographed dressed as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Bobby’s face was painted brown. Deen is set to appear on Dancing With The Stars soon, so we’re hoping she can just stick to moving her feet instead of her mouth.