An Australian news reporter has changed her Instagram to private after prompting outrage by dressing up with her husband as a 'Wuhan street vendor' and dressing her baby as a bat.
Sky News reporter and Daily Telegraph columnist Caroline Marcus shared photos of her family's Halloween look on social media, with her husband wearing white aprons, holding boxes labelled 'Wuhan Bats' with a price of '¥10'. In the boxes sat the couple's baby and a friend's baby, both dressed in bat costumes.
According to Pedestrian, Marcus captioned the post: "Because what could be more terrifying in 2020 than a couple of Wuhan street vendors hawking one very edible bat?"
Pedestrian also noted the "problematic" language used in Marcus' post, including a line that read: "Sorry, but I don't think [friend's baby] was too happy about being hawked off in our two-for-one, extra good price for you Wuhan special."
Before Marcus made her profile private comments rolled in accusing the broadcaster and writer of perpetuating harmful stereotypes and unjustified blame against Asian people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is really disturbing," one Instagram user wrote in a screenshot obtained by Pedestrian.
"I hope you'll take a step back and consider how offensive this might be to a group of people, particularly during this time when violence is being perpetrated against people of Asian backgrounds because of views like this."
"As a journalist, I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on why this is not cool," they finished, including a link to an anti-racism instagram account as a resource.
Another outraged Twitter user said they "couldn't stop thinking" about Marcus' "horrible, racist costume" that she involved infant children in.
Meanwhile, other comments on the Pedestrian Facebook page suggested those offended were "snowflakes", saying they found the costume "hilarious".
"Someone did something for a laugh, someone got offended and dropped an 'ist' or a 'phobe'... gosh people are weak," one Facebook user wrote.
Marcus has yet to publicly address the controversy.