Is it okay to be politically incorrect on Halloween? Apparently, no.
According to MSNBCs website, a group called DoSomething.org is keeping tabs on costumes that are offensive, racist or just in poor taste. The site has a campaign which rates costumes, with one-star reviews for racist costumes, for example.
Keeping with the theme, “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,” the site seeks to “educate people about cultural appropriation — and why it’s (offensiveness) still not okay even on Halloween.”
Topping this year’s list of costumes that have sparked public outcry are:
1. Caitlyn Jenner
The Halloween costume of reality TV star Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover lit up social media when it was released in August by retail company Spirit Halloween. Criticism ranged from general offensiveness to those saying it disrespected the transgender community. Change.org has circulated a petition asking the company to stop producing and selling the costume. The petition has received more than 18,000 signatures.
2. Israeli Soldier and Sheik/Fagin Nose
This costume is potentially explosive in a few areas. First, it mocks Arab people and promotes anti-Arab racism. The nose was described as “perfect for an Arab Sheik” on Walmart’s website. It also glorifies Israeli soldiers, according to groups like the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The organization said the Israeli forces are a “symbol of violence and fear for Palestinians living under occupation” and should not be “used for entertainment purposes.” Walmart has stopped selling the nose and Israeli soldier costume, but other retailers, including Amazon, have not.
3. Blackface. Another inappropriate costume. Bottom line, given America’s racist past and treatment of African Americans, blackface is never okay. The costume police say if you’re white and want to dress as someone black on Halloween, just wear a mask, don’t darken your skin.
4. Cecil The Lion
Highly inappropriate and grossly insensitive, this costume glorifies American dentist Dr. Walter Palmer, the man who sparked international outrage when he killed a lion named Cecil. The lion that had been living in a national park in Zimbabwe, was shot and his head mounted in Palmer’s living room. The “crime” is indicative of what can happen when hunting rare animals for sport is not regulated.
Adding insult to injury, the “Lion Killer Dentist Costume” includes a bloody smock and a stuffed head of a lion.
5. Sexy Donald Trump
“Sexy” costumes are seen every Halloween, stirring controversy over their sexist roots. This year, adding to the costumes that never needed to be sexy, a “sexy Donald Trump” costume has hit the stores. While this is far less offensive than other sexy costumes, DoSomething.org says “there is really no reason to make the GOP presidential hopeful into a “sexy” costume for women. So, please, let’s agree to not.”