Steve Irwin stingray fancy dress costume sparks outrage: TikTok influencer Sophia Begg slammed for party choice
An Australian influencer has apologized after facing massive backlash for a video she posted on TikTok in which she dressed up as the stingray that killed Steve Irwin.
Sophia Begg shared in a recently deleted video that she was invited to an “Australian dress-up party as a duo” and was about to wear a thong jumpsuit.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: An influencer criticized Steve Irwin’s costume.
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“They walk like Steve Irwin and I walk like a stingray,” the 19-year-old explained in the video’s caption.
Steve Irwin was killed in Queensland on 4 September 2006 when he was stabbed through the chest while filming a program about Australia’s deadliest creatures.
Begg’s video, later posted to Influencer Updates Australia’s Instagram page, shows Begg posing in the outfit, doing a 360-degree circle to show it from all angles before walking towards the camera.
But if Begg found the idea funny, most of her TikTok followers didn’t laugh.
“Are they literally joking about devastating death?” one TikTok user wrote under the video, according to Pedestrian.TV.
“Could you go literally anywhere?” added one more.
“You are so insensitive. Just because you have a huge following doesn’t mean you can get away with this shit.”
Begg has over 101,000 followers on TikTok.
Others gave their thoughts when the video was posted on Influencer Updates Australia.
“Joking about someone’s cause of death is never funny, I don’t understand how adults don’t understand this,” one person was indignant.
“I would just ask myself one question. Will I wear this in front of Bindi or Robert? No. It’s a huge no.”
“Not funny at all,” wrote another.
“Disrespectful,” added a third.
“She could turn into a crocodile.
“It’s just bad taste.
“There’s black humor and then ridicule about how the Australian icon died leaving his wife and children behind.”
The reaction prompted an apology from Begg in a follow-up TikTok post.
“Hey guys, I just wanted to jump on her to clear some things up,” she wrote in a post on Thursday.
“I love Steve Irwin and would never want to be disrespectful to his family or heritage.
“He is an iconic Aussie and my costume means no offense.
“I thought and thought about my costume and I will not be wearing it and I apologize from the bottom of my heart to everyone it offended, it was definitely not my intention.
“I sincerely apologize.
While some of Begg’s followers accepted her apology, others were still furious.
“Of course people will be offended,” wrote one person.
“Would you change into a gun with someone who got shot?
– I’m glad you apologized.
Others, however, said that people need to “grow up” and acquire a “sense of humor.”
“People are not offended by this, it’s just a costume,” wrote one of the subscribers.
“Anyone who has been hurt needs to grow up,” wrote another.
“People are so sensitive,” said a third.
But others were angered by subscribers who thought critics of the original video were overreacting.
“If you respect his legacy, then why not become a crocodile?” — asked one of the subscribers.
“(You) literally chose the animal that caused his death.”
“Does everyone think it’s okay?” asked another.
“It makes fun of him.
“Imagine how his children would feel if they saw this.”
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