Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White has offered an apology after he was criticised for dressing up as the maligned character 'Simple Jack' for Halloween.
The 32-year-old, who has won three gold medals at the Winter Olympics, posted a picture of himself on Instagram as the intellectually disabled character, who was originally portrayed by Ben Stiller in the 2008 movie Tropic Thunder.
Picture: Shaun White/ Instagram
Although the character was supposed to mock attempts by actors and filmmakers who win awards with so-called Oscar-bait, many at the time felt that it missed the mark and was nothing more than insensitive.
White, who has since deleted the image, was condemned by his followers on Instagram for the outfit. Furthermore, he faced criticism from the representatives from the Special Olympics.
Speaking to HuffPost, Soeren Palumbo, the senior director of global youth engagement at Special Olympics, said that they were "disappointed" with White.
We are truly disappointed that Shaun White, an acclaimed Olympian, would choose this costume which is so offensive and causes so much pain.
Disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline. We hope that Shaun White and others learn that this just continues stigma, stereotypes and discrimination.
On Tuesday, White issued an apology on Instagram, stating that he had learnt his lesson.
In response to the story, Stiller, who also directed the movie, also apologised, which is something he did when Tropic Thunder was first released, but clarified he stood by White and the Special Olympics.
Actually Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and I apologized then. It was always meant to… https://t.co/IuubWyraCv