News & Politics

Is This the Most Offensive Costume of the Halloween Season?

We may have an early frontrunner.

Photo Credit: Twitter

October 31 is nearly here, which means it's time again for candy corn, haunted houses, tricks, treats and wildly inappropriate Halloween getups. This year's frontrunner for most offensive costume goes to “Anne Frank Girl,” featured on HalloweenCostumes.com. The costume includes a dress, beret and felt shoulder bag.

“A young girl like Anne Frank with nothing but a diary and hope could become an inspiration to us all,” the site proclaims.

Social media wasted no time in letting the website have it, and the outfit has since been pulled from its virtual shelves.

“Why would anyone want to ‘dress up’ as Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis, for Halloween?” Karen Pollock, who heads the Holocaust Educational Trust, told the Jewish Chronicle. “It is utterly inappropriate, offensive and quite simply beggars belief. The Holocaust is not a joke—this company needs to have a serious rethink.”

Ross Walker Smith, a spokesperson for the site, posted a mea culpa on Twitter attempting to explain the company’s reasoning, such as it was.

“We sell costumes not only for Halloween, but for many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We offer several types of historically accurate costumes—from prominent figures to political figures, to television characters,” Smith wrote. “We take feedback from customers very seriously...We apologize for any offense [the costume] has caused, as that’s never our intention.”

Although the costume is no longer available from the site, other retailers continue to sell it, as well as a similar outfit under the name “Child's WWII Evacuee Girl Costume.”

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

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