Shaun White is under fire after a controversial Halloween costume.
While White is used to making headlines for winning Olympic gold medals in snowboarding, this time his name is in the headlines for way different reasons. According to TMZ, White posted a photo of himself dressed as Simple Jack from the movie Tropic Thunder.
The role was originally played by Ben Stiller in the 2008 film, and back then, the character was the subject of a lot of controversy as it was making fun of an intellectually disabled character. In the movie, the character was even referred to as the “r” word many times.
Over the weekend, White dressed up as the character from the movie and posted a photo of it to his Instagram account. In the photo that has since been removed from his account, White is dressed as Simple Jack in a pair of overalls and a white undershirt in the image. He appears to be wearing fake teeth and opens his mouth while donning white face makeup and drawn on freckles.
And though the photo has since been taken down from the Olympian’s account, that didn’t stop White from receiving a ton of backlash from his followers while the photo was still live, according to the Daily Mail.
“You’re a real POS! Really? At the expense of those who can’t defend themselves?? Hope you’re working on your lame apology speech…I know this will be deleted!! Grow up you d**che! #spreadthewordtoendtheword #specialolympics.”
“This is the most disgusting thing I have seen.. I hope you choke on your medals! On behalf of my special needs child – They are not a joke nor are they a punchline or costume,” another one of White’s followers commented.
And it wasn’t just Shaun’s followers who slammed the 32-year-old for his choice of costume, the Special Olympics also caught wind of the post and released a statement of their own regarding the costume.
“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.”
It is unclear who took down the controversial photo from White’s Instagram account but calls for comment from White’s agent went unanswered as of today. White himself also has yet to make a statement about his scandalous Halloween costume but it’s clear that a lot of people are really upset about it.