Nurse loses job after sharing photo of blackface Beyoncé costume on Facebook

A woman who reportedly dressed up as Beyoncé for Halloween thought it would be a good idea to include blackface in her costume, but on Monday she faced the consequences when she was fired from her job as a nurse at a Kansas City, Mo., hospital.

Blackface wasn’t the only unfortunate decision Shelbi Elliott-Heenan made this Halloween, though. The wife and mother also shared a picture of herself on Facebook posing in the offensive costume alongside a man, also in blackface, who’s dressed as the singer’s husband, Jay-Z. Initially unidentified, it is now believed the man is Elliott-Heenan’s husband, Jasmond Heenan, who reportedly works for Costco Wholesale.

In the shot, which has now gone viral on social media, Elliott-Heenan is grinning proudly with her arm draped around her partner’s shoulder. The nurse’s Facebook profile has been deactivated since the scandal broke, and her husband doesn’t seem to have a social media presence either.

Saint Luke’s Health System, the hospital where Elliott-Heenan was employed at the time of the incident, condemned the costume and gave the nurse a pink slip, releasing the following statement on Monday:

“While it is against Saint Luke’s policy to comment on specific personnel matters, we can confirm that this individual is no longer a Saint Luke’s employee. Saint Luke’s is deeply committed to our culture of diversity and inclusion. It is fundamental to who we are as an organization and we vigorously protect it on behalf of all our patients and employees and expect those who represent us to do the same.”

The hospital’s action comes in the wake of a more high-profile firing — that of Megyn Kelly, whose show Megyn Kelly Today was canceled recently amid comments made by the host that defended blackface as “OK just as long as you were dressing as a character.” Kelly went on to apologize on-air for the comments, saying she was “listening carefully to other points of view” and concluded that “the history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”

See more related to this story:

70 PHOTOS
Celebrities celebrate Halloween 2018
See Gallery
Celebrities celebrate Halloween 2018
TWINS #DannyDeVito #ArnoldSchwarzenegger #HappyHalloween
Heaven sent
Happy Halloween, everyone! 🎃 Have a Spooky night! 🧡🖤🧡
Don’t worry, we’re also concerned by the accuracy.
Life in Plastic, It’s Fantastic.. 💕
🇬🇧👸🤴🏽🇬🇧
THIS #HALLOWEEN 🎃 IM YOUR AUNT WHO LOVES A DOLLAR GENERAL DEAL AND MISSES A GOOD FILENE’S RUN EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK… https://t.co/krs8UUwkHL
God is a woman
Don’t u wanna Fanta? 🧡💙❤️💛💜
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Rihanna seen leaving Annabels Halloween Party in Mayfair on October 31, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by GORC/GC Images)
Happy Halloween from Morticia & Gomez Addams
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 27: Kendall Jenner attends Casamigos Halloween party at CATCH Las Vegas at ARIA Resort & Casino on October 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Casamigos)
happy halloween kids 💅🏼

Ciara attended BACARDÍ's presents Liberate Your Spirits Halloween party on Tuesday night in Brooklyn, where she performed a slew of her hits.

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for BACARDI)

Harry Styles attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night.

(Credit: Casamigos)

No. Doubt. @gwenstefani

Emily Ratajkowski attended Travis Scott's Halloween At The Weekend Unlimited Delilah Take Over on Wednesday in L.A.

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Deliliah)

⭐️👼🏼
I ❤️ you for watching! #QueenOfHearts #halloweencostume #halloween #WendyWilliams // #WhatWendyWore @theblondsny + @capezio + @90degreebyreflex + @wingweftgloves #wegloveyou + @louboutinworld + @islynyc #islynyc #islyicon || #GLAM: 💇🏽‍♀️: @robynmichelebeauty 💄: @merrellhollis 👗: @willie_thethird
Happy Halloween! 🎃 . Tomatillo Salsa 1 almost full gallon size bag of tomatillos (from my garden🤗). 3 cloves of garlic, trimmed but not peeled 2 whole jalapeños (or more if you want more spice) 2 or 3 limes Salt Olive oil 1 or 2 ripe avocados . 1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with tin foil. 2. Remove husks from tomatillos. Rinse and dry. Place on baking sheet. 3. Drizzle and coat with olive oil. 4. Add whole jalapeños and garlic to baking sheet. 5. Bake for about 30 minutes. You want the tomatillos softened, but not bursting. Jalapeños and garlic should be soft, as well. 6. Pull stems off jalapeños. Squeeze garlic from its shell. 7. Transfer everything to blender. Squeeze in lime juice and add a little salt. 8. Blend until smooth (leave the lid off a bit and cover with a towel to let the steam escape). 9. Transfer to bowl and let cool. 10. Refrigerate. 11. Add more salt to taste. Add diced avocado. 12. Cast a spell. Yum.
I opened the show. Thank you @victoriassecret for making me the first ever 5’1” angel. 👼🏼✨
OK we were just kidding about skipping Halloween. #ALegendaryChristmas will return after a brief interruption
#SpiritAnimal ✨✨🦄✨✨
Felt like bein crafty more than dressing up today 👩🏼‍🎨 so I painted me a jack-o-lantern ! 🎃 🎃 🎃 HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!!!!! (@erinparsonsmakeup you proud of me? 😄)
Happy Halloween 🎃 @postmalone
Ima get Halloween started for you the right way... postttyyyyyy I LOVE YOU BRO @postmalone...ratatatatataata wassssss gooood!! And this is also a BIG thank you to getting me to 14 million!

Travis Scott performed at his Halloween At The Weekend Unlimited Delilah Take Over party on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Deliliah)

Kaia Garber, Rande Garber, Cindy Crawford and Presley Gerber attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night.

(Credit: Casamigos)

Joe Jonas and friends attended Kate Hudson's annual Halloween party presented by Amazon at director Simon Kinberg’s house in the Hollywood Hills.

The Backstreet Boys show off their Halloween looks (drawn from their own "Everybody" music video!) backstage of their Las Vegas residency.
Erika Jayne. @theprettymess 💋
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 27: (L-R) Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford and George Clooney attend Casamigos & CATCH Halloween party at CATCH Las Vegas in ARIA Resort & Casino on October 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for CATCH Las Vegas)
Halsey Presents: Gotham City 🌿🦇 party time... 📷: @nathangroff
fav costume of all time ever. Also can’t believe we pulled off the gorilla / poison ivy dance from Batman and Robin. Oh yeah....we went there.... 🦍 📷: @donslens
vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true.
25th anniversary Barbie ✨ Totally Hair™️
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: G-Eazy, Stillhouse Spirits Co. Partner & Co-Creative Director, attends Stillhouse's Night of the Fallen Halloween Party Presented by Maxim Experiences & Velocity Black at Marquee Nightclub in New York City on October 27, 2018. (Photo by Cassidy Sparrow/Getty Images for Stillhouse Spirits Co.)
should we shag now or shag later baby?
Thank you @VictoriasSecret for sending us actual runway looks and real wings to borrow for the night!!! OMG a dream come true! Got to be a Victoria Secret Angel for the night! And Kendall got good practice lol
throwback VS vibe with my sisters 👼🏻 thank you for letting us steal your wings for the night @victoriassecret
That’s Hot 🔥 Loves it 😍 @NickyHilton 👑
runaways
Diddy was among the star-studded crowd at the Ignite Halloween Party at Dan Bilzerian’s Bel Air Mansion.
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 27: Cindy Crawford (L) and Rande Gerber attend Casamigos Halloween party at CATCH Las Vegas at ARIA Resort & Casino on October 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Casamigos)
Stormi and Ky
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 27: Television personality Jonathan Scott attends Casamigos & CATCH Halloween party at CATCH Las Vegas in ARIA Resort & Casino on October 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for CATCH Las Vegas)
Is it too late now to say sorry? 🙏🏻
“Don’t be worried about the future. Live this moment so totally that the next moment comes out of it golden.” -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh #FirstNightOut #WildWildCountry #LastedAnHour #BabySteps 🎃

Cindy Crawford attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night.

(Credit: Casamigos)

Sparkling & Still https://t.co/UvJJXkpUN7
Mornings suck 🧛🏼‍♀️ (night time is morning time for vamps guys ) #vampireawareness
Baby, i’m going to treat ya so nice you’re never gonna wanna let me go
Butterfly Effect 💕
Stormi Weather ⚡️☁️

Olivia Munn attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night.

(Credit: Casamigos)

Happy Halloween!!!! It’s our first Halloween together!!!! She’s too cute to spook!! (Don’t judge me, I have more costumes to post lol) 🦄🐼
Halloween 2018
Kelsey Grammer and Kayte Walsh attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night. (Credit: Casamigos)
Linda Thompson and Brandon Jenner attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night. (Credit: Casamigos)
Ross Butler and Noah Centineo attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night. (Credit: Casamigos)
Brody Jenner and Kaitlynn Carter attended the “Brought To You By Those Who Drink It” Halloween party at Casamigos Co-founder Mike Meldman’s Beverly Hills home on Friday night. (Credit: Casamigos)
So excited to be able to perform my single Let you Love me on tonight’s Strictly come dancing Halloween 👻 week! Make sure you tune in to BBC 1 tonight at 7.50! 🎃photos by @chrisfernhello
We back y’all #BDE
About last night. 🕸 Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick 💋
Happy Halloween part 2 from Baby True 🐷🐑🐯 (I swear she loves dressing up!)
I met @haileybaldwin this weekend. She wasn’t as pretty in person.
Ye & Lil Pump https://t.co/ZtIfr4Z514
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Some social media users continued to defend blackface in light of the Elliott-Heenan incident, with some commenting, “OK let’s quit assuming that it is racist. Freedom of speech is her 1st amendment right,” and “She wasn’t being racist she was dressed in costume so what? That’s absolutely rediculous [sic]” on the Facebook account of news site Circa.

In 2014, the website Vox published a thorough explanation for those confused about why blackface is considered offensive, explaining a long and demoralizing history in which blackface was used primarily in minstrel shows. “Taking place against the backdrop of a society that systematically mistreated and dehumanized black people, they were mocking portrayals that reinforced the idea that African-Americans were inferior in every way,” the article states.

Yahoo Lifestyle was not able to locate Elliott-Heenan for comment but has reached out to both Heenan and to Costco Wholesale about the incident and will update this story when we hear back.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.