Olympic gold medalist Shaun White is feeling the burn this week after a poor choice of Halloween costume got him into hot water. The 32-year-old snowboarding wonder dressed up as “Simple Jack,” a character from the 2008 Ben Stiller movie “Tropic Thunder” who is mentally disabled. The character was an exaggerated and unkind portrayal of adults with disabilities. At the time, Stiller apologized and said the character was meant to poke fun at Hollywood people who wrote movies about special needs characters simply to get into contention for an Oscar.
Ten years later, it’s quite a surprise that this controversy has come up again, and I’m sure it would not have had Shaun White not posted a photo (now deleted) of himself dressed up as Simple Jack at a Halloween party.
The Huffington Post took a screen shot of the post before it was deleted, and many of White’s fans responded with disappointment at his costume choice.
“Not only am I so incredibly heartbroken but so extremely disappointed,” said one disgruntled commenter. “You are someone that generations look up to and then you do something like this and it be all gone in a second. I would strongly suggest that you go to schools that work with children with disabilities.”