Asda blasted over ‘mental’ costume
Wednesday 25th September 2013, 11:30PM BST.
Supermarket giant Asda has been forced to apologise after it advertised a fancy dress outfit featuring someone covered in blood and brandishing a machete as a “mental patient fancy dress costume”.
The Halloween costume, which is designed to look like a blood-splattered straitjacket with ragged edges, was on sale for £20 through the supermarket’s clothing arm George.
Many took to Twitter to express their disgust at the description including former footballer Stan Collymore, who has a well-documented battle with depression.
He tweeted: “Dear ASDA, nice stereotype of ” Mental patients”. Something you’d expect from the ###. A f***ing joke.”
“Do you actually realise how many people are hanging themselves because of being frightened of the stigma? Wording is CLEAR. MENTAL PATIENT.”
Asda apologised for the incident in a series of tweets and said it would be making a donation to mental health charity Mind.
The company said: “We’re deeply sorry one of our fancy dress costumes has upset people. This was an unacceptable error – the product was withdrawn immediately.
“We’d like to offer our sincere apologies for the offence it’s caused and will be making a sizeable donation to @MindCharity.
“We removed the product from our website this afternoon but unfortunately the page may remain visible for a few more hours.”
Former spin doctor Alistair Campbell, who has also suffered from depression, wrote on Twitter: ” Look what Asda’s selling… what possesses these people?”
Katie Dalton of Welsh mental health charity Gofal tweeted: ” Dear @asda, did you take 1 second to consider how it would affect the 1 in 4 people who experience mental health problems in any given year?
“Dear @asda, how on earth did you come to the conclusion that this is an appropriate fancy dress costume? Disgraceful.”