It’s Halloween season and, just like every year, there’s always those few people who take their costumes a few steps too far.
This was the case with a student at University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas.
Brock Denton, a fraternity brother at the Sigma Tau Gamma chapter, wore a kitschy sweater and black face paint to a Halloween party telling everyone that he was dressed as Bill Cosby — the famous black comedian who has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 women.
The photo of the college sophomore in the outfit was posted on his Instagram page last week with the caption: “It was a bold night.”
When the university came to know of the controversial costume, they took swift action.
Denton has reportedly been expelled from the school and the fraternity chapter has been suspended.
“This picture is highly offensive and repugnant, and this representation goes against all we, at UCA believe in and stand for,” wrote university President Tom Courtway in a hand-written statement posted on Twitter.
Statement from President Courtway pic.twitter.com/BkUgxEXh0H— U. Central Arkansas (@ucabears) October 29, 2016
The picture, which went viral over the internet, caused a firestorm of outrage.
One Twitter user referred to Denton as “Human Trash.”
Oh and this kid's name is Brock Denton. Be held accountable for this rat's tasteless actions. I'm freaking pissed man. Human trash.— Cactus Zack (@ZStove) October 29, 2016
The national chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma also condemned the offensive costume and revoked Denton’s membership.
Denton has since published a lengthy apology of sorts on Instagram, an image of which was captured by UCA’s student newspaper The Echo.
“I have been sent death threats, threats to burn my house down. I am scared for my life,” Denton wrote.
He continued by blaming “social media” for creating a “corrupted society in regard to heated controversial topics such as this, ” adding that, “I can honestly say I’ve never heard of black face before until today. Believe me or don’t but at this point all I can do is be truthful.”
But, he eventually got to the apology portion of his statement.
“Please except my apology not because of me but because of the sake of this great nation,” he wrote.
But thanks to what could be called the “Trump effect,” Denton also had his defenders.
Brock Denton, a racist? That's about the last damn thing he is. Our generation is screwed with all the over sensitive and entitled brats.— Stephen Bartolotta (@stephenbart24) October 30, 2016
Denton, however, was not the only one to cross the line with his costume this year.
Actress, Hillary Duff and her boyfriend Jason Walsh, dressed up as a pilgrim and Native American, respectively, as they attended the annual Casamigos Halloween party in Los Angeles last Friday.
Duff is now apologizing for her controversial Halloween costume, which caused a similar reaction as Denton’s.
I am SO sorry to people I offended with my costume.It was not properly thought through and I am truly, from the bottom of my ??sorry.— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) October 30, 2016
If there’s one thing to learn from this, it’s this: If people want to dress up for Halloween, perhaps it’s better to try and keep race out of it. The point is to have fun. It doesn’t always have to be a political statement
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters