Shaun White is facing criticism for his Halloween costume.
Over the weekend, the Olympic gold medalist dressed up as Simple Jack, a mentally challenged character portrayed by Ben Stiller in 2008’s Tropic Thunder. Jack is the title character of a movie within the movie who is repeatedly referred to as the “R-word.” Disability groups slammed Stiller’s character at the time, saying it was offensive to those who are developmentally disabled.
White shared a photo of his costume Monday on Instagram, but quickly deleted it after immediate backlash. However, fans are leaving comments on other photos on White’s Instagram page, voicing disapproval. “I’m so incredibly disappointed in you. Making fun of people with intellectual disabilities is BS and you know it Shaun,” one person wrote.
“Making fun of people with disabilities sucks and so do you,” said someone else, and another added, “When The Special Olympics have an issue with this years costume, you may want to get an apology out. You’re obviously oblivious, and ignorant!”
A rep for the Special Olympics criticized White’s costume in a statement to TMZ.
“We are truly disappointed that Shaun White, an acclaimed Olympian, would choose this costume which is so offensive and causes so much pain,” it said. “Disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline. We hope that Shaun White and others learn that this just continues stigma, stereotypes and discrimination.”
On Monday evening, White apologized for his “poor choice of Halloween costume.”
A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite) on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:56pm PDT
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