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Nurse Loses Her Job Over Blackface Beyoncé Costume

Shelbi Heenan, a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Lee Summit, Missouri, was fired for donning blackface at a Halloween event with her husband. In photos shared on Facebook, the couple said they were dressed as Beyoncé and JAY-Z.

Heenan wore black tights, a black shirt, a silver skirt and a brunette wig; her husband had on blue jeans, a white T-shirt, black vest, black beanie and a shackle on his right wrist. Nothing about the poor iteration indicated they were the hip-hop couple.

After an uproar on social media, an investigation was launched Monday at St. Luke’s Health System. The offensive costume was shared just days after reporter Megyn Kelly was axed from NBC for her comments defending blackface.

According to WDAF-TV, Heenan was fired Tuesday for the lack of regard to the culture of diversity and inclusion at St. Luke’s.

The hospital issued this statement:

“On Monday afternoon, Saint Luke’s Health System became aware of a Saint Luke’s East Hospital employee who posted photos on personal social media accounts of her and another individual dressed in blackface for what appears to be a Halloween event. This information was shared with appropriate health system personnel and an investigation was initiated immediately. 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.”

Heenan deactivated her Facebook account. It was reported that in 2009, she dressed as another member of Destiny’s Child.


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