An Aussie dad has set off a firestorm of controversy after he posted a pic of his young son dressed as drug-troubled AFL star Ben Cousins, satirically posing the youngster with white flour under his nose and his eyes rolled to the back of his head.
'Check out this little tacker dressing up as the champion AFL legend Ben Cousins for #BookWeek,' the Facebook fan page that distributed the image wrote alongside the post. 'Powdered nose the works, future All Australian right here.'
The West Coast Eagles costume - allegedly for the boy’s Book Week school celebrations - has come under fire from critics, who feel that the father has trivialised the deadly effects of illicit drug use, while dubiously involving a small and innocent child in a very adult joke. However some others see it as just a bit of outrageous, irreverent humour - albeit in very poor taste.
‘Disgusting,’ wrote one critic, while another raged: ‘How can you do that to your child?’
But the father of the boy has defended his actions, saying that people need to lighten up. 'To put all the butt hurt people at ease - he had no idea why he had flour on his nose and I told him to act silly and I got the pic,' the man wrote.
He also claimed the controversial costume was a ‘p*** take’ in response to last week’s Nic Naitanui scandal, where a mother was criticised for painting her son’s face black to look like the Fijian-born AFL star.
Ben Cousins has had a long-running battle with drug addiction. Earlier this year he was hospitalised after police found him incoherent on a Perth highway, trying to direct traffic.