Note to starlets: Never joke about murdered animals.

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson apologized on Thursday for a caption on one of her Instagram photos that suggested she might dress up as Cecil the lion for Halloween.

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The photo, uploaded Wednesday, featured Benson in a simple lion costume asking followers what they thought of her Cecil outfit. To make matters worse, it looks like a sponsored post. Benson mentioned the lingerie company Yandy and used the hashtag #thanksyandy in the caption. She claimed in her apology that her management had written the caption.

What could have been an easy little Halloween paycheck for Benson instead become a PR mess.

The caption on the original photo has since been updated to the much more neutral: “Help! Can’t decide on my Halloween costume this year! What do you guys think of this lion costume? @yandy #thanksyandy #halloweencostume”

Here’s what it originally looked like.

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It’s an awkward situation for Benson, but it’s also a solid lesson to all the young starlets out there trying to keep it topical on social media: stay away from hot-button endangered-animal content.

H/T Jezebel | Photo via Ashley Benson    /Instagram

Christine Friar

Christine Friar

Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.