Seeing celebrities get mistaken for other stars who look nothing like them has become way too common these days. From those ridiculous red carpet mix-ups to the countless fan photos misidentifying celebrities, we can only imagine how the stars feel about being constantly mistaken for other celebs. But what’s truly disturbing is the fact that these mixups often happen to celebrities of color. Because apparently, people of certain races all look alike.
It’s one thing to see these awful mistakes happen through fan accounts or on social media, but when they’re mislabeled by photo agencies, major brands and the media, it feels like the lowest blow. Major outlets have a responsibility to share content that’s accurate, and yet, there are several examples where stars of color have been mislabeled as other celebrities who happen to share the same race. Not only is this offensive, but it’s actually racist. Because let’s face it: How often do we see white artists and actors get misrepresented like this? It just goes to show that the media is ignorant and quite careless when it comes to identifying people of color. See how many times celebrities were mislabeled as other stars:
17. Alfre Woodard was confused for actor Idris Elba on Armani’s Instagram
Of all the mixups that we’ve seen, this one is by far the worst. In 2013, Armani’s social media team posted a photo of actress Alfre Woodard wearing an Armani gown at the Governors Awards, but they mislabeled her as actor Idris Elba. The fact that such a ridiculous error occurred is still hard for us to fathom, but when that post got published, it went viral. Fans of both stars were so furious with the brand that they took to Twitter and dragged the company by starting the hashtag #ArmaniCaptions. Within minutes, Twitter was flooded with sarcastic posts about Black celebrities being mistaken for other Black stars who looked nothing like them.
16. Danielle Brooks was confused for Retta in LA Times
In 2014, the Los Angeles Times published a story that included a pic of Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks on the Emmys red carpet. But in their headline, she was referred to as Marietta Sirleaf (who also goes by “Retta”). The Parks and Recreation actress spotted the screenshot on social media and tweeted: “Ohhhhhh @LATimes . . . (Peep it @thedanieb).” Danielle also chimed in and tweeted: “Oohh child! I guess all chocolate girls look alike.” So ridiculous.
15. Wiz Khalifa was confused for Trey Songz by CBS on Twitter
On Twitter, the official CBS account tweeted a photo of Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose on the Grammys red carpet. But their caption read: “On the red carpet for the #grammys with @treysongz.” A ton of fans called the network out and mocked them for the mistake, especially since the two artists look completely different. Soon after they saw the backlash, CBS immediately deleted the tweet.
14. Seal was mistaken for Michael Clarke Duncan on WGRZ
When they were reporting on the death of late actor Michael Clarke Duncan, WGRZ (a Buffalo TV station) displayed not one, but two photos of the singer Seal. The caption for both read “Michael Clarke Duncan dead at 54.” …Talk about insane.
Soon after, WGRZ issued an apology via their Facebook page, which said: “Yep; our bad; we own it. A careless editing error at the end of the Michael Clarke Duncan story in our 11 pm news. Two entertainment stories accidentally merged into one video clip. Sincere apologies.” Talk about an epic fail.
13. Terry Crews was mistaken for Michael Clarke Duncan on ABC 7 News
The fact that this has happened more than once makes us cringe… Like WGRZ, ABC 7 News also used a photo of the wrong person to eulogize Michael Clarke Duncan. But this time, it was actor Terry Crews, because apparently, all dark Black men who are bald look exactly alike. It’s just embarrassing and downright insulting.
12. Carey Hart got mistaken for Travis Barker on Ellen
While airing an interview from the 2014 Grammys, Ellen DeGeneres’s team mistakenly identified Pink‘s husband Carey Hart as the drummer Travis Barker. But in this case, we can cut Ellen some slack because the two celebs do look similar enough to pass for twins. Pink simply laughed it off by jokingly calling Ellen out on Twitter.
11. Octavia Spencer was mistaken for Viola Davis by E!
While covering the Oscars Red Carpet, E! showed some footage of actress Octavia Spencer in a gorgeous gown. But then they ruined the moment by mislabeling her as How to Get Away With Murder actress Viola Davis. Some would call that an “innocent mistake,” except these two look nothing alike. At all. Just… HOW in the world did this happen?
10. Riz Ahmed was mistaken for Dev Patel on Burberry’s Twitter
Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel both wore Burberry to the 2017 Baftas. But apparently, the Burberry team couldn’t diffrentiate between the two actors. On Twitter, they shared a pic of Ahmed with the following caption: “Celebrating the ‘EEBAFTAs in London this evening, Best Actor in A Supporting Role winner #DevPatel wears a @Burberry custom-made navy tuxedo.” Although they were quick to fix the mistake and apologize, fans brutally dragged the brand on Twitter.
9. Penelope Cruz was mistaken for Salma Hayek by The Academy
In 2014, The Academy’s official Instagram posted a backstage photo that included Penélope Cruz and Robert DeNiro. However, The Academy mistook her for another Latina actress, Salma Hayek. Shortly after this was shared, fans called out the account in the comments for their careless mixup. It was eventually taken down.
8. Keri Hilson was mistaken for Mary J. Blige in Page Six
Page Six published a post about singer Mary J. Blige, but then included a picture of Keri Hilson with the incorrect caption. Aside from the fact that they’re both black and sing R&B;, these two artists have absolutely nothing in common. Like, honestly, it’s not that hard to tell them apart!
7. BTS member RM was mistaken for Jonghyun by NBC Chicago
While covering K-Pop star Jonghyun’s death, NBC 5 aired footage of another K-Pop band, BTS. They played clips of the band’s TV appearances and constantly zoomed in on band member RM, suggesting that he was Jonghyun. Fans were understandably outraged by this offensive error and slammed NBC.
Just a day later, the station issued an apology, tweeting: “Yesterday, while reporting on the death of Kim Jong-hyun, a member of the popular South Korean boy band SHINee, NBC 5 mistakenly aired video of the band BTS during our morning newscast. We sincerely apologize for this error.” SMH.
6. Terrence Howard was mistaken for Cuba Gooding Jr. by the Emmys
The Emmy Awards’ official Twitter account mistook Terrence Howard for actor Cuba Gooding Jr. on the 2016 Emmys Red Carpet, even though these two don’t look alike at all. They quickly fixed their error and posted another tweet, but the mistake didn’t go unnoticed by thousands of fans. Talk about shameful…
5. Q-Tip was mistaken for Tinie Tempah by Vogue
In 2014, Q-Tip attended the Met Gala at took a photo with Janelle Monae and former Vogue editor, André Leon Talley. But on Vogue’s website, he was misidentified as the British rapper Tinie Tempah. As you can see from his tweet, Q-Tip was not happy about it.
4. Kelly McCreary was mistaken for Jerrika Hinton by a photo agency
Kelly McCreary was struggling to find a picture of herself from the EW party she attended in 2016. But then she decided to search for her Grey’s Anatomy co-star’s name, who didn’t even attend the party. And of course, there she was, labeled as another curly-haired actress.
On Instagram, she said: “I would be flattered to be mistaken for her, if it didn’t seem like the all-too-frequent occurrence of this ‘mistake’ indicated the careless conflation of two black actresses with curly hair on the same tv show. I wonder, does this happen when there are two blonde women in the same cast? When there are two dark-haired white dudes with blue eyes?” Good point.
3. Whoopi Goldberg was mistaken for Oprah on Total Beauty’s Twitter
To be honest, this one still has us scratching our heads. Total Beauty tweeted this during the 2016 Oscars and got called out by countless fans. Even though they took it down, it quickly went viral and garnered reactions from Both Whoopi and Oprah.
Whoopi said: “I could be compared to a lot worse people… as long as she’s not pissed I’m fine.” But Oprah didn’t seem to brush it off as easily. Her best friend, Gayle King, posted a photo of her looking confused while holding up her phone, which clearly showed the tweeted error. It was captioned: “@Oprah & favorite daughter watching #Oscars & seeing @totalbeautyeditors snafu! We all love @whoopigoldberg but we don’t all look alike Jeeeze!”
2. A girl got mistaken for Yara Shahidi in The Daily Mail
A fan recently brought this to Yara’s attention when she tweeted: “New face who’s this? @YaraShahidi according to the dailymail this is you.” The Grown-ish star shared the post with her followers, reacting with a few weary emoji faces. And we totally get it, considering the fact that this random, curly-haired girl on the beach looks nothing like her. Fans didn’t hesitate to express their frustration and disbelief. It’s just sad that this is still happening in 2018.