Disney pulls ‘Moana’ outfit, kicks off season of controversial Halloween costumes

The debut of Disney’s newest princess is getting off to a rocky start thanks to a Halloween costume mishap.

This week company representatives said they will no longer sell a controversial costume which some Pacific Islanders compared to blackface, reports the Associated Press.

The costume, designed for boys, was based on Maui, a  Polynesian ancestral figure to many Pacific Islanders. In the film, “Moana” (which hits theaters in November) the title character is led by Maui on an exploration through the South Pacific. Moana is the first Disney princess who does not have a love interest. Her relationship is with the ocean and Maui serves as her guide.

A shirt with long sleeves and pants in a shade of brown with designs were intended to look like Maui’s skin decorated with tattoos. The costume also came with a shark-tooth necklace and leaf skirt. Pajamas for boys and a shirt for men featured a similar design but have also since been removed from the website and stores.

“The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some,” the company said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores.”

Culture misappropriation is just the first complaint that is bound to be handed out to all the ill-conceived Halloween costumes this year which should be popping up just about…now.

Last year around this time, a Georgia woman’s Facebook post went viral after she took Party City to task for a too sexy police officer costume for toddlers.

This police costume, offered for toddlers on PartyCity.com, provoked a Georgia woman to complain to Party City about the the sexualization of girls in marketing.

This police costume, offered for toddlers on PartyCity.com, provoked a Georgia woman to complain to Party City about the sexualization of girls in marketing.

The is a perennial conversation, but Party City is still selling that outfit in sizes 3T and 4T for $30.

And it’s not just kids costumes that are deemed inappropriate.

While Caitlyn Jenner thought last year’s corset costume, a spinoff of her 2015 Vanity Fair cover was “great,” the general public thought it was in pretty poor taste.

And a Cecil the Lion costume featuring a lion head and bloody dentist scrubs was considered by some to be too insensitive.

Actress Ashley Benson, star of Pretty Little Liars, posted an image of herself on Instagram wearing Yandy’s sexy lion costume. The initial caption referenced Cecil the Lion. After public outcry, she posted an apology noting that the costume was in poor taste, removed Cecil’s name from the caption and pledged to donate all the proceeds from the advertising deal to the World Wildlife Fund.

Reader Comments 0

50 comments
Isha Johnston
Isha Johnston

People are way too sensitive these days! I see nothing wrong the outfit at all. In all honesty I think people are not happy unless they have something to whine and complain about.

Lauren Marie
Lauren Marie

It's a freaking costume. Everyone gets so butt hurt about everything now. Get over it.

Victoria Torres
Victoria Torres

It looks like they even put the costume on a Polynesian child for the stock photo to avoid everyone getting offended, and everyone is still offended. What a surprise

becky63
becky63

I guess the only demographic today that's not off limits are White Repuplicans. This pc stuff is out of control.


Chelsea Bartholomew
Chelsea Bartholomew

People are getting way to sensitive these days. There is nothing offensive by this costume. It a cute kid wearing a costume nothing more nothing less.

Shanay Finley
Shanay Finley

I guess my son can't be a vampire then he covered his face in white make up last year smh don't want to make no one mad

Don Simpson Jr.
Don Simpson Jr.

Why is it bad for kids to want to emulate your culture??

Alicia Brannon Pinkard
Alicia Brannon Pinkard

Seems counter effective to tell little children that it's not ok to want to look like their friends who happen to have a different skin color. Kids have innocent hearts until they are taught to be disrespectful by ignorant adults

Timfany Mayfield
Timfany Mayfield

its not about the skin tone, its about the tattoos are scared symbols, not something just cool to wear

Alma Fuerte
Alma Fuerte

Come on we are going overboard with this.

Amanda Brady
Amanda Brady

Oh my gods everyone is so effing OFFENDED

Judith Hulse
Judith Hulse

The movie doesn't come out until November. Disney gave in to a small minority who live to control. We are all different shades and colors. Embrace your own color and don't judge others. Good grief, it is always something.

Jarid Moon
Jarid Moon

Maui is a god to the Polynesian people. Would you find it appropriate for someone to dress up as Jesus Christ for Halloween? They seem to believe Disney made Maui out as an insult to the Polynesian people.

Diedra Jones
Diedra Jones

Good point Jarid Moon. Thanks for explaining, I honestly didn't know. I definitely would feel some kind of way if that were my heritage being mocked as a costume.

Tabitha Lynn
Tabitha Lynn

Am I the only person on the planet who is, literally, offended by nothing?

Steve Dolphyn
Steve Dolphyn

SMH...why did this all start now? I think back on all of the various Disney characters that have shown up on our doorsteps every Halloween - Pocahontas, Jasmine, etc. - and I don't recall anyone being upset with those. Society is changing so fast, and to my way of thinking, not for the best.

Jarid Moon
Jarid Moon

Maui isn't just some Disney character... he's a god to the Polynesian people. Would you find it appropriate for someone to dress up as Jesus Christ for Halloween?

Solybeth Virola
Solybeth Virola

It's not like it hasn't been done. I've personally seen some jesus Christ's walking around for Halloween

Steve Dolphyn
Steve Dolphyn

Jesus? Oh, hell ya! Thanks for the idea! They're all fiction characters anyway!

Steve Dolphyn
Steve Dolphyn

Oh, it's just been pointed out to me that one of those people were, in fact, real. Pocahontas.

Peter Calabrese
Peter Calabrese

It would look more awkward if they tried to make it white. How did they ever get by with Pocahontas, Mulan, Aladdin and Jasmine?

Sheva Bree
Sheva Bree

The problem is that the tattooes are on 'flesh'. So we'd have lots of white kids running around with brown flesh. And some parents would get it in their heads to put brown make up on their kids.. and no.. just no. The Princess costumes you're talking about are just the clothes, not the skin. So that's cool. If they could have made some sort of see through outfit where the kids own skin color showed through.. that would be fine. Just let the kids have the awesome tattooes without the brown skin. But white people darkening their skin to look like another race has lots of bad history.

Tabitha Lynn
Tabitha Lynn

People were far less sensitive then. My paternal grandmother was full blooded Mohawk Native American. She let me watch Pocahontas all the time and my entire family, including her... hardcore Redskins fans.

Shel Ash
Shel Ash

Sheva Bree Actually, the tattoos are where the problem is here. For the Polynesian culture, they're very sacred, so mass producing it on a costume is seen as a sign of disrespect. The skin color on the costume would also bring up the issue you mention, but they couldn't just make it clear.

Alyssa Floresta
Alyssa Floresta

I just don't get it.. nothing is wrong with it. The guy in the movie has brown skin and the costume matches his appearance..

Jarid Moon
Jarid Moon

The "guy" in the movie is a god to the Polynesian people. Would you find it appropriate for someone to dress up as Jesus Christ for Halloween?

Jarid Moon
Jarid Moon

Your lack of cultural knowledge makes you a very poor expert on this subject. The people of Islands also believe the way he was depicted in the movie, was just as terrible also.

Alyssa Floresta
Alyssa Floresta

I'm not an expert. And obviously I have lack of knowledge about this subject. Thank you for noticing that seeing how I didn't know he was a god to them. #genius Thank you to rest for the info. I got it now \U0001f44d\U0001f3fc

Alyssa Floresta
Alyssa Floresta

Actually thinking about it is be okay with someone dressing up like Jesus for Halloween.. I just don't see the issue..

GP Moriarty
GP Moriarty

Jarid Moon Last Halloween party I went to I saw a Jesus, a Dancing Jesus, and Commando Jesus \U0001f605

Alyssa Floresta
Alyssa Floresta

Everything is "racist". Literally EVERYTHING these days

Patti Gröne
Patti Gröne

Jarid Moon yes! Is halloween , is fantasy

Jessica Graves Blue
Jessica Graves Blue

But the point they are trying to make is that this is the same as black face. It has nothing to do with him being a God. Not saying the Islanders aren't offended by that issue....but the costumes were pulled because they said it was racist. I guess my mixed black abd white kid can't be Elena the Mexican Princes this year. I hope the pretty little black girls who chose to be Elsa last year didn't traumatize anybody. Geeeeez. They are kids. They are the smart ones who couldn't care less about the color of the character.

Fundador Deleon
Fundador Deleon

You know what is wrong with it.? Mentality. !!! The state of mind of some idiots who has nothing else but ignorance incoherent personalities and animosity toward everything different from them . That's what is wrong. !!!!

JD Waldrep
JD Waldrep

How in the hell did the offended groups come to the conclusion that this costume was the equivalent of "blackface"???

Jarid Moon
Jarid Moon

Wearing another person's skin is just as bad. Maui is a god to the Polynesian people. Would you find it appropriate for someone to dress up as Jesus Christ for Halloween?

Timfany Mayfield
Timfany Mayfield

because the tattoos they have are symbols that are sacred to them, not just cool tattoos to have

Joshua Neeld
Joshua Neeld

Jarid Moon, yes I would find it appropriate if someone dressed up as Jesus for Halloween. Reason? One, I'm an adult and two, I'm atheist. Plenty, and I mean plenty, of Polynesians to who the tattoos have zero significance and they can care less. Are their feelings less significant to you?