A controversial photo of what appears to be Jason Aldean wearing blackface on Halloween has been making the rounds on the internet.
In a photo first discovered by Nashville Gab, a man that bears a strong resemblance to Aldean is shown donning blackface makeup alongside what appears to be his wife Brittany Kerr, who is wearing braids and flashing “gang signs”. It appears that Aldean was dressed up as rapper Lil Wayne, sporting the artist’s trademark sunglasses and red cap or bandana.
As the picture has since been deleted from social media, there’s no way of proving 100% that the man is Aldean. However, Saving Country Music discovered a snapshot of Aldean’s sister Kasi Williams Morstad, who is seen in the far right of the photo below, wearing the same costume in a photo on her own Instagram account. If you compare Aldean’s facial features and height to the man posed closely beside Kerr and his sister, it’s pretty clear the country superstar is the makeup-clad man.
UPDATE: Five days after the photo was first posted online, Aldean’s representative confirmed to the Guardian that he had “dressed as rapper Lil Wayne” on Halloween. This late admission by Aldean’s team all but confirms that Aldean is indeed the man wearing blackface in the photo.
Obviously, Halloween is a time when these kinds of costumes are commonplace, but the problem lies in Aldean’s choice to black out his face with makeup.
Anyone who has had a high school History class has learned of the stigma that’s associated with wearing blackface. Minstrel shows which featured white actors wearing blackface thrived through the 19th century and promoted hurtful stereotypes which have lived on into today’s society. In the last few decades, society as a whole has begun to reject any use of blackface because of its horrific uses throughout history.
Aldean’s incredibly poor choice of wearing blackface sadly reinforces so many incorrect stereotypes. Along with the obvious offenses to African Americans, it seemingly proves many of the backwards observations that country music artists and listeners and uneducated and possibly racist.
Am I calling Aldean a racist? No. However, as one of the most popular country stars of today, he definitely should have known better.