Offensive Halloween Costumes

The most offensive Halloween costumes ever: Pottery Barn's only part of awful trend

Most offensive Halloween costumes ever: Pottery Barn's just the start

Pottery Barn sushi chef costumes Halloween October 2013
These costumes from Pottery Barn caused the company to receive complaints from Asian American civil rights groups, ultimately leading to their discontinuation. Pottery Barn
Julianne Hough Crazy Eyes black face costume October 2013
Julianne Hough's unfortunate choice to incorporate black face into her costume this year made her the target of much outrage. OMG.Yahoo.com
Trayvon Martin costume October 2013
Two young Florida men chose to dress as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman in what is probably the most offensive costume of 2013. Facebook
Walmart turban and beard Halloween costume October 2013
Walmart and Amazon eventually stopped selling an "Osama Bin Laden" costume after much outrage from a Sikh advocacy group. Metro.us/Walmart
Pottery Barn sushi chef costumes Halloween October 2013
Julianne Hough Crazy Eyes black face costume October 2013
Trayvon Martin costume October 2013
Walmart turban and beard Halloween costume October 2013

Pottery Barn is under fire from Asian American civil rights groups for offensive Halloween costumes. One costume featured a kimono and the other was a sushi chef, complete with a fake knife and a headband emblazoned with the rising sun from the Japanese flag.

Asian American civil rights activists demanded the immediate removal of the costumes, articulating that it was completely inappropriate to market them as the representation of an entire culture. The costumes have since been removed from Pottery Barn stores and from its website and an official apology was released.

This is far from the first racially charged costume incident of 2013 though. In fact, this seems to be the year of the offensive Halloween costume.

Back in September, Walmart and Amazon were the target of much outrage from the Sikh community for selling a costume, featuring a beard and turban, that was marketed as an "Osama Bin Laden" costume by Amazon. Only after many phone calls and letters from a U.S.-based Sikh advocacy group did the companies decide to stop selling the costume in question.

 This seems to be the year of the offensive Halloween costume. 

Just this week, Julianne Hough caused a commotion for wearing blackface as part of her Halloween costume. The Dancing With the Stars champion chose to imitate "Crazy Eyes," a character from the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, and made the unfortunate decision to incorporate face makeup as part of her outfit. The incident caused Hough to come under fierce criticism from a multitude of sources, including the NAACP. Hough quickly released an apology, but many are still upset by the actress' racial insensitivity.

Perhaps the most shockingly insensitive costume of 2013 is the one donned by two young Florida men to impersonate Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. One of the young men wore blackface and was splashed in blood to imitate Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old gunned down in Florida in 2012, while the other dressed as Zimmerman, his shooter, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words "Neighborhood Watch."

The 2013 Halloween season has been just about the worst in terms of racial insensitivity, although I'm sure we can expect more offensive costumes in years to come. Just a word of advice to everyone out there: Blackface makeup . . . always a bad idea.