Update: Ashley Benson has posted an apology on her Instagram concerning her Cecil the Lion Halloween costume. She says that her management team wrote the post and that the costume was not actually Cecil the Lion (even though the company she tagged in the original caption does, in fact, sell a Cecil costume, as reported below). "Yesterday's post was in poor taste and I absolutely regret all of the hurt that photo caused," she wrote. Read the rest of her note, below.
This story was originally published on October 6: Offensive Halloween costumes are nothing new. See: Julianne Hough's ill-advised Crazy Eyes costume and this highly questionable Caitlyn Jenner get-up. But, dressing up as a lion who was senselessly killed for sport amid much controversy? Yeah, no. Ashley Benson of Pretty Little Liars posted a lighthearted Instagram of herself wearing a Cecil the Lion costume, which can be purchased for $118.95 over at Yandy. As evidenced by the screengrab below, Benson's original caption read: "Help! Can’t decide on my Halloween costume this year! What do you guys think of this cecil the lion costume?" Benson has since edited her caption to refer to the one-piece as simply a "lion costume." Yandy is attempting to spin the costume as a charity initiative, explaining, "20% of the proceeds of our limited-edition, Cecil the Lion costume will be given to a Global Conservation Organization to support global conservation initiatives." That's all well and good, but it doesn't make the outfit any less tacky or distasteful. What's more: Yandy's PR reps sent out a tone-deaf release alerting the media to Benson's Instagram, noting that the costume features "a cheeky cut back and a deluxe, faux-fur trimmed hood with lion ears." Well, as long as it's faux.