Mental Patient Costume Causes Twitter Controversy, British Supermarket Chain Asda Apologizes

Mental Patient Fancy Dress Costume

If you want a scary Halloween costume they are in abundance for October 31. If you wanted a scary costume that is also highly offensive UK supermarket chain Asda for a short period of time had you covered.

The company came under fire this week after they started offering the “Mental Patient Fancy Dress Costume” which depicts a mental patient covered in blood while holding a meat clever.

Following the costumes sales page posting Twitter users quickly began attacking the company.

Immediately following those comments and dozens more the team at Asda admitted the insensitive mistake:

The apology didn’t end there:

Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, run by the mental health charity Mind, appeared on BBC Radio 4 Today to discuss the costume. According to Baker:

“Nine out of 10 people using mental health services in patient care report stigma and discrimination from a range of sources”.

Baker adds:

“Stigma and discrimination is unfortunately still really damaging in England today and this kind of myth of the dangerousness posed by people, that you should be scared of anyone who has used mental health services, is really damaging”.

The Asda situation led to Amazon UK removing the costumes image from its site. However, users can purchase other varying costumes on Amazon including the rather disturbing Child’s psychopath costume.

While Asda may have made a mistake in selling the costume, their quick admittance of guilt and their decision to reach out on social media should serve as a great lesson for other companies who find themselves in hot water.

Do you think it was irresponsible for Asda to sell the mental patient fancy dress costume?

James Kosur

James Kosur has worked in the new media space for the last 10 years, helping many publications build their audiences to millions of monthly readers. He currently serves as the Director of Business Development at and the CEO of Aven Enterprises LLC.


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