Friday 20 October 2017

Hughie Maughan 'seriously shook' after receiving death threats over RTE tanning disaster

Hughie Maughan (21) has been forced to defend himself from racism claims after being accused of ‘blacking up’ on Dancing with the Stars.
Hughie Maughan (21) has been forced to defend himself from racism claims after being accused of ‘blacking up’ on Dancing with the Stars.
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Hughie Maughan has revealed how he’s been left “seriously shook” after receiving death threats in the wake of his tanning disaster.

The Dancing with the Stars contestant has opened up about the huge backlash on social media from people in the States who confused his tanning disaster with racism.

“It’s not just one, there’s loads of them, from a group of people Tweeting things, death threats and how I should be attacked with a machete,” he told the Herald.

“Of course I’m shook. I take full responsibility for my tan and anyone who’s saying that I’m being racist is wrong. I’m a member of the travelling community, I’ve had racism all my life and I would never be racist.

“I can’t believe the reaction that I’m getting. This is a tan that has turned into an international press storm.”

Earlier this week, the former Celebrity Big Brother star was forced to defend himself from racism claims after being accused of 'blacking up' on Dancing with the Stars - while producers on the show have moved to ensure no repeat of the issue.

Although the Big Brother star wasn’t even performing on the RTE show last weekend, his strikingly-dark complexion set tongues wagging on social media.

While most viewers saw the funny side of it after he made a mistake with his tan, other social media users weren’t so forgiving, claiming that he was "doing black face" and calling it offensive.

Hughie's tan was trending on Twitter during the show
Hughie's tan was trending on Twitter during the show

But Hughie, who’s a member of the Traveller community, has defended himself and said that people are “idiots” to accuse him of racism.

“Get a grip. The tan turned out darker than planned but at least it’s funny,” he said.

He told the Herald how all the comments were water off a duck’s back to him and he wasn’t sensitive to keyboard warriors.

“No, not at all. I don’t take notice of anything like that. I don’t take notice of opinions. I wouldn’t come on this type of show if I were. People are entitled to an opinion if you put yourself on a platform like this.

“You could have one little thing that they pick on. If you speak of it, an insecurity, they’ll attack that.”

Inside sources say that producers Shinawil have once again spoken to Hughie and reprimanded him about his excessive use of fake tan.

They told him “in no uncertain terms” that he was not to repeat the same mistake this Sunday.

"He was told the first week to lay off on the tan and he was told again last Sunday to leave it to the professionals and not be doing it himself, but he still went ahead of put on too much,” she said.

“There’s 11 celebrities competing on the show and it’s not fair to the rest of them when his tan is all anyone is talking about on social media. He needs to make the headlines for his dancing and not his tanning.”

A spokesperson for the show said that it’s been an issue with the Ballymun star from the outset.

“Since the start of the show, Hughie has been applying his own fake tan, and it has become a major obsession.

“When he arrived on set last Sunday, the several layers of self-applied tan was very patchy. Makeup did their best to try and even out the tone.

“Production is urging him to stop this over-usage and allow the experts to take over.”

She added: “He just overdid it , it was mistake , and it won’t happen again.”

This weekend will see the show’s first live elimination as the 11 celebrities all compete against each other to stay in the hit RTE programme.

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