Prepare yourselves to see a lot of Antoine Dodsons this Halloween. An online costume shop has started a "Bedroom Superhero Costume Kit" that includes a wig, black tank top and the red bandana made famous by 24-year-old Dodson who became a YouTube viral sensation after he chased a would-be rapist out of his home.
It’s the latest, and unauthorized, attempt to capitalize on Dodson’s fame.
We’ve already recounted how the whole thing started: after chasing off his sister’s would-be attacker, Dodson did an interview with a Huntsville news station that everyone poked fun at (some more constructively than others). Call it cunning business savvy or naive self-promotion, but within days Dodson established a formidable web presence, gave fan interviews, and got enough donations and sponsorships that he eventually earned enough to move his family into a new home.
But while Dodson has surprised many by using his newfound fame to become his own entrepreneurial juggernaut, he’s not a fan of the new Halloween costume. First, he didn’t approve it. But more importantly, he thinks it’s making too much fun of the very serious situation that put his family into the spotlight in the first place. On his Facbeook page, Dodson wrote: "These people down here, are raping me and my family for real. They don’t have my permission to be selling this costume."
It’s unclear who Dodson’s referring to with "these people" — the folks behind the costume or his sister’s attacker, who still hasn’t been caught. But I think it’s safe to say that the summer’s biggest joke has officially stopped being funny.
Yet even that statement may be a stretch. Dodson posted this to his Facebook page on Monday:
Although Dobson has made money to change his life, his profits have been split with the Gregory Brothers, whose original parody sparked the meme. The two sides had never met until recently.