The Worldwide Skating Union (ISU) has apologized for together with an Auschwitz-themed determine skating outfit as a nominee for its “Finest Costume” of the yr award. Responding to backlash mounting on social media, the ISU wrote on Twitter that the costume, which was worn by 23-year-old Russian skater Anton Shulepov at ISU Grand Prix of Determine Skating occasions in France and Japan in November, was included in “error.”
“The ISU regrets that by error the improper costume (Free Skating as a substitute of Brief Program costume) of Mr. Shulepov has been introduced for voting,” the group tweeted. “This error has been corrected and the ISU sincerely apologizes for this error and the unhealthy sentiments it has brought about.”
Shulepov’s free skate costume appeared to characteristic parts of each focus camp prisoner and guard uniforms, together with a yellow Star of David, and was worn by throughout a free skate routine set to the theme from Schindler’s Checklist. Shulepov completed 11th on the Grand Prix occasion in France and eighth on the later occasion in Japan, failing to qualify for the Grand Prix last.
In an announcement to The Guardian, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, described the costume as “insensitive and offensive.”
“Whereas we perceive the necessity for skaters to be inventive of their alternative of costumes, Anton Shulepov’s obvious resolution to evoke painful Holocaust imagery as a part of his routine was insensitive and offensive,” Greenblatt mentioned. “We’re stunned that the Worldwide Skating Union initially posted an image of this costume as a nominee for ‘costume of the yr.’ Yellow Stars of David or different focus camp imagery don’t have any place in determine skating.”
Shulepov’s quick program skate costume — a plain, darkish blue turtleneck paired with black pants — is now listed among the many different costumes up for the “Finest Costume” vote, per the ISU’s assertion that it was the outfit initially meant for inclusion. The ISU didn’t instantly reply to TIME’s request for touch upon how the shortlist was chosen.
Shulepov is just not the primary determine skater to carry out to music from Schindler’s Checklist. Earlier this yr, American determine skater Jason Brown debuted a brand new routine set to the John Williams-composed rating on the Grand Prix occasion Skate America. “My background, clearly, is Jewish, and the story is so touching,” Brown instructed NBC Sports activities. “I grew up studying in regards to the Holocaust and about Oskar Schindler and the tales. I at all times wished to skate to it, but it surely must be after I’m on the degree, maturity-wise, that I’m actually prepared.”
German determine skater Nicole Schott beforehand got here below hearth for skating to the theme throughout the 2018 Winter Olympics. And in 2016, a “Holocaust-themed” skating routine (set to music from the film Life is Lovely) was carried out to a lot controversy by Tatiana Navka, a former Olympic ice dancing champion and spouse of longtime Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, throughout a Russian actuality TV competitors.
Shulepov has but to touch upon the costume or routine in query.