Duke athletics has changed its procedures for handling photos following a recent controversy that drew national media attention.
A sports information intern posted an entire set of photos from a Halloween party held by women’s lacrosse head coach Kerstin Kimel on the team’s official website, including one photo of junior team member Taylor Virden, dressed in blackface intending to portray Buckwheat, a character in the film “Little Rascals.”
Photos will now be individually evaluated before being posted on GoDuke.com, vice president for public affairs and government relations Mike Schoenfeld said.
The photo was removed from GoDuke.com, but a screenshot of the photo made the rounds on popular blogs such as Deadspin and BroBible.
In a statement, Kimel apologized for the insensitive nature of the costume and said the team did not mean to offend anyone.
“The Duke women’s lacrosse program celebrates Halloween with an annual gathering. This year, some of our costume choices were insensitive and entirely inappropriate,” Kimel said. “No offense was intended, but that does not matter because we should have realized how these choices would be viewed by those outside of our program.”
Art Chase, head sports information director, declined to comment and noted that Virden did not have comment at this time.