Queen of rap Nicki Minaj took to Instagram on Saturday to express her disgust over a distasteful costume called "Pill Cosby." The photo she shared depicts two people, comedian Bill Cosby (who in 2015 has been accused of sexual assault) and an unconscious woman. The first person is wearing a paper Bill Cosby mask and sweater while holding onto the second person, who has a full martini glass in hand. "Pill Cosby" is grabbing a prescription bottle and pretending to pour it into the drink, while his other hand is inside the woman's shirt. The image is clearly problematic — and potentially triggering — as it exploits and arguably mocks the very real issue that is sexual assault, and the stories of the many women who are now accusing Cosby of rape and/or assault that allegedly occurred over the course of his career.
Minaj found the picture on DJ Clue's Instagram. The CEO Of Desert Storm Records posted it on Oct. 31 with the caption, "This Gotta Stop #PillCosby," along with a number of "crying laughing" emojis. Minaj was clearly furious, and reposted it to her own IG account with, "Our generation is so desensitized," as her own caption
The thing is, she's completely right. Insensitive Halloween costumes like this one — or Spirit Halloween's take on Caitlyn Jenner — feel like a direct reflection of how many people still don't understand. Poking fun at survivors of sexual abuse, as well as wearing sexist, transphobic, or racist costumes, should no longer be commonplace.
Unfortunately, DJ Clue's use of not one, not two, but five "crying laughing" emojis makes it pretty obvious that despite his saying "This Gotta Stop," he doesn't actually realize the full depth of how troubling this costume actually is, and even thinks it's relatively comedic. When you scroll through IG, there are a number of comments from people supporting the DJ's "LOL" feeling about the getup, with some commenters laughing along and even tagging friends to begin planning their own interpretation of the costume for future Halloweens.
Thankfully, those who share in Minaj's opinion are also speaking up, demanding the photo be taken down and saying things like "this is disgusting," as well as, "And the world's biggest douche award goes to..."
It's been less than a year since the women Cosby allegedly abused began speaking out against him publicly, so this is not only an instance of trigger potential, but of making light of an extremely difficult and painful situation far too soon. One cannot help but feel thankful for outspoken celebrities like Nicki Minaj, who are taking a stand against such behavior. IMO, anyone who still believes it's OK to turn sexual assault into a joke needs to be shut down immediately.