Singer/actress Hilary Duff has issued a heartfelt apology for causing offense with her Halloween costume after attending a party as a sexy pilgrim.
The So Yesterday star, 29, made her first official public appearance with new boyfriend Jason Walsh on Friday (28Oct16), when they attended George Clooney's celebrity-packed Casamigos Tequila Halloween bash in Beverly Hills, California.
Hilary showed up for the costume party in a short black dress as she channeled a religious crusader, while trainer Jason went as a Native American chief, complete with feathered headdress and matching face paint.
The image stirred controversy among social media users, who expressed outrage and disappointment at their choice of wardrobe, with many blasting Walsh for his "blatant racism", particularly in light of the plight of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who are fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on sacred land in Sioux County, North Dakota.
One critic declared: "No @HilaryDuff Traditional dress is not a costume and you being dressed as a pilgrim proves to me how insensitive and ignorant you are", while another added, "Wow. They are grossly out of touch."
The online uproar prompted Hilary to address the backlash via Twitter on Sunday (30Oct16).
"I am SO sorry to people I offended with my costume," she wrote. "It was not properly thought through and I am truly, from the bottom of my (heart) sorry."
Walsh also turned to social media to express his apologies.
In a post on Instagram, he stated: "I meant no disrespect. I only have admiration for the indigenous people of America. In hindsight I would not have made that decision. I apologize to anyone I may have offended."
Duff and Walsh showed off their controversial costumes a day after Thor star Chris Hemsworth publicly shared his regret at dressing up as a Native American for a New Year's Eve party last year (15).
In his Instagram post, the Australian actor confessed he was "stupidly unaware of the offense this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue", adding, "I sincerely and unreservedly apologize to all First Nations people for this thoughtless action."
His apology was made as he announced his support for the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.