Americans say no to Ebola and ISIS costumes this Halloween

October 28, 2014, 2:03 PM UTC

Americans overwhelmingly say it is unacceptable to dress up as an Ebola victim for Halloween

With Ebola dominating the headlines over recent weeks, Ebola-themed costumes are in high demand. An online retailer is now selling 'Ebola Containment Suit' costumes, and even a 'Sexy Ebola Containment Suit' for women, prompting widespread criticism. 

YouGov's latest research shows that the vast majority of Americans (77%) say that it would be unacceptable to dress up as a victim of Ebola for Halloween and only 16% think that it would be an acceptable costume choice. Only dressing up as an ISIS fighter (80%) is more likely to be seen as unacceptable by the public. Most Americans also think that it is wrong to use blackface in your costume (57%) or to dress up as a murderer (58%). Zombies, however, are fine, with only 18% of Americans saying that it's wrong to dress up as a zombie. 

People aged between 30 and 44 are the most likely to say the potentially offensive costumes are OK. 27% of 30 to 44-year-olds say that it is acceptable to dress up as an Ebola victim, the highest of any demographic group. This compares to 17% of under-30s and 5% of over-65s. Men (23%) are also more likely than women (11%) to say that an Ebola victim costume is acceptable. 

The age difference is similar for blackface, too. 38% of Americans between 30 and 44 say that blackface is an acceptable part of a Halloween costume, something only 24% of under-30s and over-65s agree with. 34% of white Americans say that blackface is OK at Halloween, something only 9% of black Americans agree with.

Full poll results can be found here.