Courtesy Ashley Benson
Ashley Benson took to Instagram to issue an apology to her fans after she posted a controversial “Cecil the Lion” reference on Tuesday.
“Yesterday’s post was in poor taste and I absolutely regret all of the hurt that photo caused,” she wrote about the photo that showed her dressed in a lion costume. “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. 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.”
The post Benson is apologizing for features the Pretty Little Liars star in a gold body suit complete with a tail and hooded lion’s mane with ears.
She originally captioned the photo “Help! Can’t decide on my Halloween costume this year! What do you guys think of this Cecil the Lion costume?”
However, after commenters questioned the sensitivity of the ensemble, the actress re-uploaded the image with a new caption referring to her outfit as “this lion costume,” omitting Cecil’s name.
The backlash was sparked by the killing of the renowned lion in Zimbabwe, which occurred this summer when Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer shot the animal on an illegal hunt.