Here's Exactly What Not to Be on Halloween
"This will literally be the most viral costume of the year," claims the description for an Ebola-inspired Halloween costume on sale this week as the number of people infected with the virus passes the 10,000 mark.
For just $59.99 you can own the "sexy Ebola nurse" suit, which comes with a white suit emblazoned with "Ebola," a face shield, a breathing mask, safety goggles and blue latex gloves.
The problem: The tasteless costume capitalizes on recent news and fears, such as the first cases of individuals infected by Ebola in Dallas and New York City. In some ways, it also makes a mockery of a historic outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa.
"The deadly Ebola virus has landed in the United States and the crisis has reached new levels of domestic escalation," the item's description says.
Additionally, not only is the costume's capitalization of America's mass hysteria toward Ebola worthy of a reprimand, but the costume is yet another example from a long line of the needless sexualization of every possible topic and idea. It's not bad enough to have a costume that basically makes fun of a terrible disease that's ravaging Western Africa, but the costume's makers felt the need to spice it up with a little bit more sexiness too.
The response: The costume company's CEO, Jonathan Weeks has gone on defense as critics point to the insensitivity of the costume.
"You can go on any website for a zombie mask for an eight-year-old with cuts and scars all over their face," Weeks told the Atlantic. "It's Halloween, it's one day, if people are that serious about it, they don't know what Halloween is about."
Not everyone agrees that Halloween is a forgiving excuse to wear a hazmat suit as thousands of people suffer and die from the virus.
This year, more than 5,000 people have died from Ebola, most from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Trick or treat?