Ashley Benson Sparks Instagram Uproar Over 'Cecil the Lion' Costume
Ashley Benson asked her 9.3 million Instagram followers what they thought of her animal costume and was quickly met with some controversy.
The Pretty Little Liars star posted a pic of her donning a lion costume, but in her original caption for the pic, she made reference to the slain Cecil the Lion. The 13-year-old animal made headlines this summer after he was killed in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota dentist.
WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel Chokes Up Over Death of Cecil the Lion -- ‘This is Terrible’
"Help! Can't decide on my Halloween costume this year!" she first wrote on Tuesday. "What do you guys thing of this Cecil the Lion costume?"
After several users called the reference, "offensive" and in "bad taste," Benson changed the caption to just say "lion."
The Deluxe Lion costume the 25-year-old actress is modeling was made by Yandy and costs about $150. There is also another version of the costume that is called Cecil the Lion, and that runs for about $119. While the name of the costume has proved controversial, the retailer claims that 20 percent of the proceeds from the getup will go to a global conservation organization.
WATCH: Bob Barker Defends Mia Farrow Tweeting Lion Killer’s Address -- He Deserves All the Misery He Receives’
Do you find the Cecil the Lion costume offensive?
UPDATE: Benson issued an apology over her costume on Wednesday. "Yesterday's post was in poor taste and I absolutely regret all of the hurt that photo caused," Instagrammed. "The caption that was posted was incorrect and my costume was not Cecil the Lion, when I saw that I contact my management who handled the post and had it immediately changed."
"I recognize that I am responsible for everything posted on my social accounts and this was an unfortunate oversight," she continued. "I am a supporter of animal conservation and I will be donating all proceeds of this deal to the World Wildlife Fund. I love you all and I apologize if I let you down."
Here's how Hollywood reacted to the animal's widely publicized death: