Actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on 30 June to fire a broadside at critics who have been accusing her of being racially insensitive when using blackface in a comedy video in 2013.
In her defence, Charmed star Milano said the skit she had appeared in was a parody of the MTV reality series “Jersey Shore”, where some cast members were known for their artificial tan, and, specifically, one of its cast members, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.
Referring to the latter endearingly as a “sweetheart”, the actress, known to be a vocal critic of the US President, said her tan was as worth parodying as Donald Trump’s “tan.”
Hey, assholes. The below picture is me parodying Jersey Shore and Snookie’s tan.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 30, 2020
Snookie’s tan (she is a sweetheart by the way) is worthy of parodying as is Trump’s “tan”.
So go fuck yourselves with your smear campaign. Here is the link to full video: https://t.co/mu9zy7csCX pic.twitter.com/XuTVUN29R3
Milano linked her tweet to a YouTube video of the 80-second skit from seven years ago, created by comedy website Funny or Die.
The footage, believed to be a parody of a Dove brand commercial, shows Milano seated in a chair being transformed by a makeup team into a participant on “Jersey Shore”.
The skit reportedly sought to reveal how the beauty industry manipulates viewers, setting unrealistic beauty standards for women.
“So go f*** yourselves with your smear campaign,” retorted the actress in her tweet, which was accompanied by an image from an article by publication LifeZette.
Milano earlier made a veiled reference to the attack on her in a Monday tweet, slamming “cancel culture” as being “weaponized by the right” and warning that a “misinformation campaign had begun”.
Cancel culture is being weaponized by the right/Putin. Take notice of who they are targeting & what is trending. Are they trying to hurt Trump’s most vocal critics? Yup. The misinformation campaign has begun. Be vigilant in what you post on social media. Truth still matters.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 29, 2020
Netizens were split in their reactions, as some took a swipe at the actress for “mocking others”.
Well, it’s a weapon so that makes sense. pic.twitter.com/g8L20oWCdk— McGician (@ninjadunk) June 29, 2020
Cultural appropriation at its finest. Couldn't happen to a more annoying hypocrite. Go away now. You are just as "racist" as the man you hate the most, Trump But, I've never seen him in blackface or dreads. Hmmm— Janet Jacob (@janetrd3873) June 30, 2020
Black face or not she did it with the intent of mocking others. It's cringy no matter what. Stop trying to defend it. She needs to just apologize. It's not that hard.— Luna Jaycox (@faeification) June 30, 2020
I'm of two minds. I actually feel bad for you, but I'm enjoying the karma you're now served after the #MeToo damages you've inflicted. There's no more presumed innocence until proven otherwise because of that movement. Any accusation in all things is as good as a conviction now.— Mrs. Sena Schneider - Snarky Housewife (@Jesser1975) July 1, 2020
Others voiced their support for Milano, insisting that the parody she had appeared in was comedy, and “not blackface”.
The first picture is her doing a parody of snooki from the Jersey shore who is an Italian girl with a dark tan who is white it's not black face stop making it about something that it's not— Voldrace (@KuroLarethian1) June 30, 2020
Comedy exaggerates, that’s the Snooki piece. In the 70s, black AND white women wore braids. Bo Derek, 70s: pic.twitter.com/0vBzaZWY0Y— Michael Eason (@MichaelCRW) June 30, 2020
Trumpets too dumb to know the difference between a black face and a spray tan— Joyce Cox (@JoyceCox1) June 30, 2020
Is Tan Face a thing?— joe sutherland (@jhsutherland2) June 30, 2020
Earlier, LifeZette, a website co-founded by Fox News host Laura Ingraham, wrote that Alyssa Milano’s past had come back to haunt her with a vengeance, referring to the allegedly “blackface” parody as a “damning photo”.
The news came as a succession of celebrities have recently been apologizing for appearing in “blackface” in their shows over the years.
Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel apologised for past sketches after receiving complaints over his use of blackface makeup while impersonating black celebrities such as basketball player Karl Malone, Oprah Winfrey and Snoop Dogg.
Earlier, NBC presenter Jimmy Fallon issued a similar apology over blackface sketches he performed on Saturday Night Live.