Shaun White Halloween Costume Controversy

Shaun White Halloween Costume Controversy

Updated Oct 31, 2018 at 02:23PM EDT by Matt.

Added Oct 31, 2018 at 01:49PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

Shaun White Halloween Costume Controversy refers to a public backlash against professional snowboarder and Olympic gold-medalist Shaun White for his "Simple Jack" Halloween costume. "Simple Jack" is a meta-character from the 2008 film Tropic Thunder that was meant to satirize actors but received criticism for its portrayal of people with disabilities. White has since apologized.

Background

On October 27th, 2018, Shaun White posted an image on Instagram of himself and another person in Halloween costumes, with White dressed "Simple Jack," a meta-character from a film within the film Tropic Thunder. In the film, actor Ben Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, an actor who portrays a person with disabilities in "Simple Jack," for which the character is criticized. The character was meant to satirize actors who take offensive roles to win awards. Before being deleted, the post received more than 40,000 likes (shown below).[1]


shaunwhite。. Follow shaunwhite Simple jack and the kid!!! 40,153 likes 2 DAYS AGO Log in to like or comment.

Developments

On October 29th, Senior Director of Global Youth Engagement at the Special Olympics Soren Palumbo told HuffPost[1] that they were "truly disappointed" in White's decision. They said in a statement:

"We are truly disappointed that Shaun White, an acclaimed Olympian, would choose this costume which is so offensive and causes so much pain. 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.

That day, White apologized for the costume on Instagram.[2] He wrote, "I owe everyone I the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night." The post received more than 38,000 likes in two days (shown below, left).

On Twitter, [3] the Special Olympics official Twitter account accepted the apology. They said, "Thank you @shaunwhite for listening to our community. You always have an invitation to shred with our athletes at #XGames Aspen!" The post received more than 150 retweets and 2,900 likes in two days (shown below, right).


Shaunwhite #. Follow I owe everyone in the SpecialOLVimplCS CommunitV an apology for my poor choice OI HalIoween cos tume the other night. It was a last minute decision. It was 38,174 likes 1 DAY AGo the wrong one . T he Special Olympics were right to cal me out on it. T hey do great work supporting so many tremendous athletes and I am sorry for being insensitive Lesson learned

Online Reaction

Following his post, people online reacted negatively to White's costume. Instagram user @torimomma commented on the photograph, writing that they were "incredibly heartbroken" and "extremely disappointed" (shown below, left).[1]

Some did not accept White's apology (shown below, center0. Twitter[4] user @RBcochrane tweeted, "So apparently all is forgiven by Special Olympics for Shaun White's decision to make his Halloween costume a #disabled person. It was not for respect more for ridicule and guffaw laughs. I guess if you are a RAD gold medalist snowboarder, all is cool. No apology for others 😐."

One Twitter user tweeted, "Maybe we should all boycott Tropic Thunder now. On second thought…I love that movie! I’m gonna give it another watch tonight and laugh my butt off at it." Tropic Thunder actor and director Ben Stiller replied,[5] "Actually Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and I apologized then. It was always meant to make fun of actors trying to do anything to win awards. I stand by my apology, the movie, Shaun White, And the great people and work of the @SpecialOlympics." The tweet received more than 200 retweets and 2,300 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).


shaunwhite .Follow shaunwhite Simple jack and the kid!!! Load more comments torimomma Not only am I so incredibly heartbroken, but so extremely disappointed. You are someone that generations look up to and then you do something like this and it could be all gone in a second. I would strongly suggest that you go to schools that work with children with disabilities, you go to day program that work with teens with severe disabilities, volunteer at programs that work with adults with disabilities. Go visit families that have children with very severe disabilities, heck even mild to moderate disabilities and talk to the families and the parents and the caregivers who give all they can for So apparently all is forgiven by Special Olympics for Shaun White's decision to make his Halloween costume a #disabled person. It was not for respect more for ridicule and guffaw laughs. I guess if you are a RAD gold medalist snowboarder, all is cool. No apology for others @shaunwhite I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween cos tume the other night. It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. The Special 956 247 o 3,1 45 I owe everyone in the Special olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween cos tume the other night. It was a last minute decision. It was Special Olympics @SpecialOlympics 58 Replying to @shaunwhite Thank you @shaunwhite for listen olympics were right to call ing to our community. You alwaysme out on it. They do great he wrong one. The Special rk supporting so many @RedHourBen Actually Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and I apologized then. It was always meant to make fun of actors trying to do anything to win awards. I stand by my apology, the movie, Shaun White, And the great people and work of the @SpecialOlympics. Phil White @ssvbmr Replying to @VelVelHoller @shaunwhite Maybe we should all boycott Tropic Thunder now. On second thought... love that movie! I'm gonna give it another watch tonight and laugh my butt off at it.

Media Coverage

Several media outlets covered the controversy, including HuffPost,[1] The Daily Dot, [6] TMZ,[7] CBS[8] and more.

Search Interest

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