The TV Characters You Shouldn’t Dress Up As This Halloween

Halloween brings out the best parts of many people’s personalities. The holiday encourages us to get thoughtful, creative, and punny. But, once those creative Halloween juices start flowing, people sometimes settle on offensive, insensitive, or even racist costumes, all in the name of being cutting edge or topical. Do not let this be you.

Since television basically rules the world these days, it’s likely your favorite series might end up being your biggest pop cultural touchstone for the holiday. Unfortunately, some deeply problematic costume possibilities are lurking in these obsession-worthy shows. Let's not go there.

To keep you from becoming a viral sensation for the wrong reasons — like offending the entire internet with a TV-inspired costume you thought was totally appropriate — we found all the television characters you shouldn’t even consider touching this Halloween. Keep reading to find out who should stay on the screen and out of your BFF’s Halloween party.

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The Sex Workers of The Deuce

Sex workers aren’t fictional television fodder. They’re real, live people who face actual danger every single day. “Sex workers are at heightened risk of a whole host of human rights abuses including rape, violence, extortion, and discrimination,” an Amnesty International senior director explained in 2016.

That means they deserve our protection — like education and discrimination, according to the organization — rather than a starring role in your search for Halloween inspiration. Candy Merrell (Maggie Gyllenhaal) might have the best-worst wig on television, but you don’t need to dress up as her to celebrate that fact.

What to be instead: Grab your best friend and some fake moustaches for a tribute to James Franco’s twin characters on The Deuce. Or, if you just love terrible blonde wigs, go for Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in season 1 of Game Of Thrones.
The Late Hannah Baker of 13 Reasons Why

There are so many reasons why this is possibly the worst Halloween costume of all time. While 13 Reasons Why is beloved, it’s also triggering to many, many people out there, due to the series’ graphic depictions of both rape and suicide. It’s so serious, Netflix had to add multiple trigger warnings throughout season 1. No one around you on Halloween needs to be reminded of such upsetting subject matter.

On top of that fact, it’s cruel, insensitive, and disturbing to dress as a dead teen for the holiday, especially one who took her own life. It doesn’t matter that Hannah is a fictional character. Her death is still rooted in the upsetting reality of teen suicide. There’s no need to ever make a mockery of such a heartbreaking, real world issue.

Your best bet: Avoid any and every Hannah costume, since these problematic truths will be looming over any iteration of her character you might choose. Yes, that means that even Hannah's movie theater uniform is off-limits.

What to be instead: Basically anything else, but if you want to stick with characters on emotional, fan-favorite Netflix shows, you can't go wrong with Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and/or Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) from Black Mirror’s “San Junipero.”
June & Fred of The Handmaid’s Tale

Remember: Fred (Joseph Fiennes) is a rapist. Do not glorify rapists on Halloween by honoring them with your couples costume, no matter how buzz-worthy the show is or how attractive the real-life actors who play them happen to be. As we see over The Handmaid’s Tale season 1, Fred is a domestic terrorist who overthrew the American government and facilitated the kidnapping and forced imprisonment of every single fertile woman in the country. This is not who you want your partner dressing up as for Halloween.

What to be instead: June (Elisabeth Moss) and Nick (Max Minghella) are the way to go, y’all.
Corinne Olympios & DeMario Jackson of Bachelor in Paradise

Everyone loves a good, timely pop culture Halloween costume, and the Corinne Olympios-DeMario Jackson controversy dominated headlines for much of the summer. Naturally, some people might believe that makes the Bachelor in Paradise scandal, which shut down filming after a producer claimed there was on-set sexual misconduct between the co-stars, might be ripe for some holiday inspiration. After all, Corinne and DeMario have made up, and multiple investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing. Still, those people picking out their Playa Escondida-ready costumes are wrong. This is the definition of Too Soon. It will always be too soon.

Corinne suffered an onslaught of slut-shaming, while DeMario found himself dragged into an inherently racist narrative. Both of these human beings are in therapy, and DeMario admitted he was exhibiting suicidal behavior during the scandal. Even their loved ones still seem traumatized by the fallout. Do not dredge all of this up on Halloween, or make light of the possibility of sexual assault all in the name of a selfie.

What to be instead: Scallop Fingers and Not-A-Serial-Killer Jack Stone, obvs.
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