November 02, 2015

Gay skier in a headdress

Gus Kenworthy Takes Down Culturally Insensitive Halloween Photo; Says He Was “Just Having Fun”
The Olympic freestyle skier issued an immediate about-face after deleting thr controversial photo.

By Evan Ross KatzNow that Gus Kenworthy has come out of the closet, among the legions of support being doled out comes the sharpening gaze of those looking to catch the out freestyle skier’s first big media debacle. They didn’t have to wait long. It happened yesterday.

After posting his “sexy cop” photo on Halloween proper, Kenworthy took to Instagram the morning after to give fans a glimpse at his fourth costume (the second and third were not photographed, which might have been best considering where this story goes).

[T]his is not the first time (nor, sadly, the last) that a blatantly unaware celebrity has taken the Native American Headdress and turned it into a costume.

Kenworthy should surely be slapped on the wrist for not realizing this. But what makes his indiscretion doubly offensive is his blatant acknowledgment and swift disregard. Though he’s since issued an apology, the caption of his original post makes it clear that he knew the controversial waters in which he was wading.
Gus Kenworthy: I apologize for my Native American-themed costume

By LGBTQ NationInitially, he wrote that “for everyone giving me grief, I don’t really understand why this is racist or cultural appropriation.. it’s Halloween! Just having fun! :)”

However, the Instagarm hordes weren’t satisfied with his statement, and their unremitting gush of negative commentary led Kenworthy to delete the photo and officially apologize:

“Didn’t realize I was being offensive & didn’t mean to marginalize or appropriate Native American culture. Sorry! Pic deleted.”
Comment:  Kenworthy's apology translated: "Sorry you caught me engaging in hipster racism. And sorry my ironic acknowledgement of hipster racism didn't inoculate me from criticism."

For more on the subject, see Montreal Alouettes Stereotype Indians and Acadian Singer's Stereotypical Music Video.

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