‘Blackface’ grim reaper costume banned by EUSA staff at the Big Cheese

The demon costume apparently ‘could be construed’ as black face


A recent Edinburgh graduate was asked to remove his black face paint, which was part of his Grim Reaper costume, at the Big Cheese on Saturday after it was deemed offensive by EUSA staff.

A EUSA member of staff asked the twenty-two year old Edinburgh graduate, Ryan Lytwyn, to wash away the paint otherwise he’d be refused entry.

The member of staff approached Ryan in the queue telling him that his costume could be “offensive to black people.”

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Ironically, the costume looked more offensive after he tried to wipe off the paint

Ryan said: “I told the staff it was ridiculous. I was clearly dressed up for Halloween as a demon – I had black, white and red face paint on – but they said I wouldn’t be allowed in as it ‘could be construed’ as black face. Someone in the queue offered me tissues so I wiped it off and then they eventually let me in. But my costume was ruined.”

Ryan also told the Tab about how he felt unfairly treated, he said: “Yeah, I did (find his treatment by EUSA unfair). Obviously the Grim Reaper isn’t “blackface”.”

This comes a year after a student who used shoe polish to make himself look like a black man managed to get his way into the Halloween Big Cheese.

EUSA Vice President of Services Jenna Kelly said of EUSA’s policy: “Blackface is racist and outdated and not permitted in any of our venues under any circumstances.”

On whether she thought the grim reaper costume actually counted as blackface, she said: ““We appreciate the student in question may not have realised the implications of his costume, however we stand by our position that blackface is unacceptable under any circumstances. We are glad the student was still able to come into the venue and enjoy their night.”