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What will it take for people to realise that making money out of other people's misery is utterly unacceptable?

  • Comments (3)

It’s Hallowe’en again, and as sure as ghouls emerge from graveyards, we have another crop of “hilarious” costumes making a joke out of mental illness.

Asda and Tesco were forced to apologise last year after coming in for a barrage of criticism for  selling “mental patient” and “psycho ward” costumes, so you might think companies would have learnt that it’s really not on.

Well think again.

This year the cream of the crop comes from Joker’s Masquerade, which had a whole selection of “lunatic”, “schizo” and “psycho” costumes on sale a couple of weeks ago (it also had a couple of Ebola costumes in case you fancied having a laugh about people dying horrible deaths right now).

After a Twitter storm and stories run by the BBC and various local and national press, the company seems to have removed the bulk of the costumes from sale - although Adult Psycho Ward is still available as I write.

But the company isn’t remotely repentant, as its blog makes clear. Apparently the people who took exception are, among other things “incestuous Tweeters”, attacking an “ethical” company.

I’d love to see its ethical policy.

Many people with mental health problems already feel isolated and vulnerable - seeing themselves treated as figures of fun might just be the last straw for some.

What will it take for people to realise that making money out of other people’s misery is utterly unacceptable?

  • Comments (3)

Readers' comments (3)

  • The company in question are behaving appallingly.

    One of my friends is amongst those challenging them on Twitter and elsewhere, and has been on the receiving end of some very personal attacks from a person who appears to be an employee of the company (they use the same phrases and mis-spellings as fond on the company's site and their official responses).

    Not good at all.

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  • BasketCase, I am not surprised. Anyone who can profit from peoples health issues in such a derogatory way can easily resort to personal attacks to those who oppose them.

    Good on your friend, and the employee will look foolish at the very least.


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  • Anonymous

    Samhain, a celebration of the transition of seasons and life to death, using humour and costume to help confront them. Age old stuff, lighthearted with more serious underlying ideas and community importance.
    Modernday Halloween for most, another commercial season for the capitalist machine, whatever the cost. 2 entirely separate things.

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