Hilary Duff was more or less forgotten when it came to the transition from Disney Channel star to adult celebrity. Even compared to the troubled Lindsay Lohan, Hilary never really got an iconic role like Mean Girls. Worse still for her notability, Duff didn’t have Lohan’s penchant for luring in the paparazzi with her bad girl party antics.
It’s hard to say that Lindsay really landed in a better position than Hilary when comparing their two current states, but one thing is for sure — Duff today is a far cry from an A-list celebrity. If some questionable comments she made in a Time interview published Wednesday morning are any indication, that lack of scrutiny may have actually worked in her favor.
Hilary spoke with the magazine in anticipation of the premiere of her new series Younger, created by Sex and the City‘s Darren Star, that will begin March 31 on TV Land. Despite being on a network far from known for pumping out modern day hits, the series is Duff’s biggest opportunity in quite a while: Other than a string of voice acting gigs for minor animated films, Hilary hasn’t had a leading role for almost five years.
In Duff’s defense, a lot has changed since she was leading Lizzie McGuire almost 15 year ago. Drugs like Molly that her character takes on the show were nowhere near the mainstream TV trope that they are now. One could even argue that the following comments from Hilary’s interview wouldn’t have even turned heads at the time.
“A lot of our writers are in their 20s, so they know what’s up. I’m trying to think if I gave any feedback. I think I’m the one who will act ghetto more of the time or do funny voices.”
So what’s the big problem with Duff saying she “acts ghetto” on the show? That perhaps can be best illustrated by a quote later used by Hilary in the interview where she discusses the difficult and confusing world of using a food co-op in Brooklyn.
“We tried to shop at the co-op but then we realized we couldn’t because we didn’t have a job there! It’s a commitment. But also the people that are working there are terrible. They don’t know where anything is. They don’t want to bag your groceries because they’re all moms that live in the neighborhood and want to shop at the grocery store but they don’t want to be working there!”
How exasperating for poor Duff, and how obviously indicative of the place of understanding she comes from to mock “ghetto,” as defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “a part of a city in which members of a particular group or race live usually in poor conditions” or more succinctly “the poorest parts of the city.”
The fact that Hilary Duff makes any contribution to the show whatsoever is surprising, but that she gleefully throws in that “acting ghetto” as the way that she taps into the show is disheartening to say the least. Relying heavily on racial and class tropes doesn’t look good on anyone, much less a rich, white blonde.
[Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]