The International Skating Union apologized on Monday for nominating an Auschwitz-themed skating costume for its costume of the year award.
The costume was worn by Russian figure skater Anton Shulepov during a free skate set to the theme from “Schindler’s List.” It combines elements of uniforms worn by both prisoners and guards at Auschwitz, and prominently features a yellow Star of David. Over one million prisoners perished at the Nazi concentration camp, the deadliest of the 20 main concentration camps constructed by the Nazis.
Shulepov first wore the costume at the Internationaux de France skating competition in early November, which led to criticism from the figure skating community. He wore it again in late November when he competed at the ISU Grand Prix, but the greatest outcry came when Shulepov’s costume was among the nominees for costume of the year in the ISU’s skating awards.
You need to remove Shulepov from Best Costume and issue an apology. His costume is offensive to people like myself who lost family. Genocide is not entertainment. It’s not sport.— T. R. Nasty (@_whatshername) December 1, 2019
Please remove Shulepov's costume from best costume category. It's incredibly insulting and irresponsible to commend a costume that is this upsetting to people whose families and lives were affected by real life events.— Christine, in the Shoma Support Corner (@noldorin_sith) December 1, 2019
Remove Shulepov from the best costume category. What he is wearing is offensive and that needs to be called out. By nominating him you are giving a platform for such tone deaf insensitivity— b.a_illustration (@branana17050013) December 1, 2019
The ISU released an apology on Monday via Twitter, claiming that an “error” caused them to nominate the wrong Shulepov costume.
The ISU regrets that by error the wrong costume (Free Skating instead of Short Program costume) of Mr. Shulepov has been presented for voting.— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) December 2, 2019
This error has been corrected and the ISU sincerely apologizes for this mistake and the bad sentiments it has caused.
The nomination for Shulepov’s Auschwitz-themed costume was withdrawn and replaced by Shulepov’s short program costume, which the ISU says they always intended to nominate. That statement is a little weird considering the costume they supposedly intended to nominate is a plain, basic ensemble of black pants, a navy blue long-sleeved jacket, and a red crushed velvet shirt underneath.
The ISU is sticking by its original statement, and has not released any additional comment about the nomination error.
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