Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costumes!

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Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costumes!

Postby Katblossom » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:47 pm

I could not believe the news that both Asda and Tesco had "Mental Patient" and "Psycho Ward" costumes in store for Halloween.
I didn't know whether to laugh or be outraged so I settled on bemused and disappointed.
Can you imagine how many people those costumes must have gone through for approval and no-one said "hang on that's not quite pc and may offend some people, lets stick to Frankenstein"? Or words to that effect.
Oh well, they pulled the costumes off and made a donation to mental health charity so all's well etc.
I'm raising this issue because I work in mental health and it does affect me. I know that some of our patients would be upset by this portrayal. What was also annoying was I went on the Daily Mail website (always a mistake) and although the article was sympathetic in that it said the costumes were offensive, people commenting on the article didn't get why people would be so offended. They thought it was just pc nonsense.

Anyway, I suppose this raises a topic perhaps - what's offended you that others haven't understood why?
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Dotsie » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:05 am

Ooh, I feel like this is a thread that could go baaaad :lol: I might stay away!

The trouble with non-PC stuff is that people don't realise how wide their audience is when they post on the internet. But supermarkets ought to know better.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Bouncy Castle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:59 am

I've seen the costumes in the paper, and quite frankly, if they'd called them "serial killer" or something similar, nobody would have batted an eyelid.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Catch-up » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:57 am

I think many people who complain about "pc-nonsense" just don't want to be held accountable for being thoughtless jerks.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Bouncy Castle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:36 pm

True.

You'd have thought that somebody at the supermarkets would have said "hang on a minute...". :doh:
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby janet » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:41 pm

Catch-up wrote:I think many people who complain about "pc-nonsense" just don't want to be held accountable for being thoughtless jerks.

Yep, they're the idiots who do and say incredibly hurtful things to other people and excuse it by calling it 'banter' :naughty:
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Catch-up » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:02 pm

Oh yes. :roll: Insulting people then claiming they were "only joking" and the offended person just doesn't have a sense of humor. One of the worst kinds of bullying.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Katblossom » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:29 pm

Yes, it's annoying and lazy. Some people seem to think as long as its funny then if you disagree and find it offensive then your some kind of fascist for objecting, whilst not understanding freedom of speech (or expression) goes both ways and if you express yourself and some people don't like it well, that's sort of the risk you take and it's their right too.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:15 am

Somehow I doubt most real "mental patients" would have an issue with those. Generally in these types of cases, the ones offended aren't the ones that are the targets.

Like all the white people crying racism over Jar Jar binks, or the twins in transformers 2, even though the VAs were all black. Or the "normal people" offended over the ep of Family Guy where Chris starts dating a girl with down's syndrome. ignoring the fact that the woman that did the voice actually HAD down syndrome. Or the ep of mlp that got censored after a character was only THOUGHT to be disabled and some complained she was offensive simply because she had crossed eyes and a slightly deep voice, even though the woman that wrote the ep has a disabled son.

And ofcourse there is Carlos Mencia. who always got criticized for making fun of disabled people (well, he makes fun of everyone, but thats besides the point). Even though, some of his friends are disabled and he has done shows for hospitals. One of his albums he even tells a story of doing one of those shows, for like 5000 disabled people, and half way through his act getting heckled for not doing any of his "Dee DeeDee" jokes. Which he hadn't done up to that point for fear of offending. But in the end did them because they kept asking for them.

So yeah, Sorry, but gotta side with the pc-nonsense crowd.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Catch-up » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:30 pm

Sorry Rap, but that's another one of those arguments I don't buy, "The only people offended are not the people being made fun of." How do you really know that? You can't. You haven't polled the entire group. Again, it's one of those things thrown out there because people don't want to deal with the reality that people's feelings and self esteem might actually be impacted.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:00 pm

Well I guess I should say something in here as I 'pass' as mentally afflicted. :roll:

I don't think it's offensive necessarily. Insensitive yes, but the costumes taken in context are clearly intended as representing people who are criminally insane (as in serial killer/psycho scientist stereotype) so, for a Hallowe'en celebration, it's par for the course rather than intentionally derogatory.

If you're going to be PC about it then wicked witch costumes are offensive to wiccans and 'white' magic practitioners, etc, etc ad nauseum. Some slack can be cut here and grovelling apologies can sound insincere after the event and be embarassing as well... Personally I quite like the orange onesie costume - nice and comfy! :lol:
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby simmonds91 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:23 pm

I agree with jan van quirm, i dont think the costumes are offensive as such but they are insensitive. Let me say this, if we humans were to be considerate of every single person on the planet then we would never create art, literature or anything. Everything is bound to upset someone and as raptornx01 pointed out, the people who are apparently offended, not all of them are, should we not take their thoughts into consideration? Its clear to me that almost everything we take for granted is in the same boat, should we not sell witch costumes in case it offends wiccans? Or do their opinion not count? What about those who find the idea of discworld to be offensive? I do think we should consider someones feelings but i also dont think we should be too pc either. Personally i never understood why dressing a certain way was offensive, no matter what the costume and no, im not interested in what you have to say about that, just my own curiosity is all.

Edit: If someone is offended by it they merely have to avoid buying it right?
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:36 pm

Catch-up wrote:Sorry Rap, but that's another one of those arguments I don't buy, "The only people offended are not the people being made fun of." How do you really know that? You can't. You haven't polled the entire group. Again, it's one of those things thrown out there because people don't want to deal with the reality that people's feelings and self esteem might actually be impacted.


You can't know they were all offended either. So Where does it end? So you shouldn't do something if even one person will get offended? But people get offended at EVERYTHING. and I'm not exaggerating here. there is nothing you can say or do that wouldn't be offensive to someone. And what about the people that didn't get offended? aren't their views just as important?

consider the link I put in the headlines topic. Guy gets fired because he liked a tv show. His coworkers were "offended" so does that make it ok?

You disagreed with what I said, does that mean I shouldn't say it? Should the whole world be this sad, lonely place where everyone just sits in a corner, never talking, never doing anything simply because someone, somewhere, might get offended and doing any less would be "insensitive"?

Ofcourse, then someone would be offended by everyone else being so quite and lazy.

Eventually you get to a point where taking one person's feelings into account starts stomping on the feelings of another
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Dotsie » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:53 pm

Intent has lot to do with whether or not I'm offended by something. I don't mind sexist jokes at all, unless I can tell that the person actually means it and is 'disguising' their aggression as humour. And people I know have been asking me some extremely personal questions about my family situation lately, but not really realising how personal those questions are, I think.
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Re: Offensive? Asda/Tesco - Halloween "Mental Patient" costu

Postby Catch-up » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:32 am

I do get your point Rap. You can't please everyone 100% of the time. However, these are common arguments from people who genuinely set out to offend and it rubs me the wrong way. I think Dotsie made an excellent point with "intent".
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