When Ashley Benson reached out to her Instagram followers for some friendly Halloween costume feedback by modeling a sexy lion get-up on Tuesday (Oct. 6), she made a rather facepalmy caption choice that had her followers in an absolute uproar -- emphasis on the roar.
As detailed by New York Daily News, the "Pretty Little Liars" star first posted the pic of herself in a hooded, velvety jumpsuit and wrote, "Help! Can't decide on my Halloween costume this year! What do you guys think of this Cecil the lion costume?"
Of all the current events references being made into quirky costume fare this year -- "The Dress," sexy Donald Trump, Pizza Rat, etc. -- a Halloween cosplay on the tragic death of Cecil the Lion is apparently one spot where the line has been CROSSED. So, the responses were ferocious.
Many of Ashley's followers thought the post was in "poor taste," "just wrong" and plain old "f--ked up." That clearly wasn't the response she was aiming for, so she edited the caption to remove Cecil's name, simply asking, "What do you guys think of this lion costume?"
Ashley also might've had a secondary reason for nixing the Cecil reference, because the costume she had on was not the Cecil costume -- which actually exists, BTW -- but rather the "deluxe lion" design from Yandy. The company was quick to defend its Cecil the Lion-themed outfit anyway, and promised that both the Cecil and deluxe lion costumes are bringing in some bucks for conservation organizations.
While the outrage over the original posting was indeed pretty intense, there are others who think the Cecil costume is commemorative, not disrespectful.
"When I read this I thought she was trying to spread awareness of Cecil and not be disrespectful about it," one fan wrote. "If anything Ashley is bringing awareness back to Cecil and she slays in that costume," another wrote.