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Disney pulls 'Moana' outfit, kicks off season of controversial Halloween costumes


The debut of Disney's newest princess is getting off to a rocky start thanks to a Halloween costume mishap.

This week company representatives said they will no longer sell a controversial costume which some Pacific Islanders compared to blackface, reports the Associated Press.

The costume, designed for boys, was based on Maui, a  Polynesian ancestral figure to many Pacific Islanders. In the film, "Moana" (which hits theaters in November) the title character is led by Maui on an exploration through the South Pacific. Moana is the first Disney princess who does not have a love interest. Her relationship is with the ocean and Maui serves as her guide.

A shirt with long sleeves and pants in a shade of brown with designs were intended to look like Maui's skin decorated with tattoos. The costume also came with a shark-tooth necklace and leaf skirt. Pajamas for boys and a shirt for men featured a similar design but have also since been removed from the website and stores.

"The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some," the company said in a statement. "We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores."

Culture misappropriation is just the first complaint that is bound to be handed out to all the ill-conceived Halloween costumes this year which should be popping up just about...now.

Last year around this time, a Georgia woman's Facebook post went viral after she took Party City to task for a too sexy police officer costume for toddlers .

The is a perennial conversation, but Party City is still selling that outfit in sizes 3T and 4T for $30.

And it's not just kids costumes that are deemed inappropriate.

While Caitlyn Jenner thought last year's corset costume, a spinoff of her 2015 Vanity Fair cover was "great," the general public thought it was in pretty poor taste.

And a Cecil the Lion costume featuring a lion head and bloody dentist scrubs was considered by some to be too insensitive.

Actress Ashley Benson, star of Pretty Little Liars, posted an image of herself on Instagram wearing Yandy's sexy lion costume. The initial caption referenced Cecil the Lion. After public outcry, she posted an apology noting that the costume was in poor taste, removed Cecil's name from the caption and pledged to donate all the proceeds from the advertising deal to the World Wildlife Fund.


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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.