Missouri nurse loses job for wearing blackface Beyonce costume

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A Missouri nurse lost her job after she posted a photo of herself and her husband dressed -- in blackface -- as Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Shelbi Elliot-Heenan was a registered nurse at Saint Luke's East Hospital in Lee's Summit. The Kansas City Star reported that personnel officials at the hospital were made aware of the photos Monday.

Facebook user Lynese Sade complained about the nurse’s costume, the Star reported.

"I do not feel that it is safe having a racist employee working with the public," Sade wrote, according to the newspaper.

Hospital officials responded to Sade, saying that the photos did not fit with the “core values of (the) organization” and that an investigation had been launched.

Laurel Gifford, senior director of media relations for Saint Luke's, told the Star Tuesday that the nurse had been fired.

"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," Gifford told the newspaper.

The photo that led to Elliott-Heenan’s firing shows her dressed in black and silver, with a black wig and brown makeup on her face and hands. Next to her stands a man wearing a knit hat, jeans and a white T-shirt and what appears to be a bicycle chain or heavier chain around his neck.

He also wears sunglasses and black paint on his face and arms.

KCUR in Kansas City reported that a high school classmate identified the man as Elliott-Heenan's husband, Jasmond Heenan. The news station said Jasmond Heenan works for Costco in Independence.

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Heenan was not immediately available for comment Tuesday, KCUR said.

Elliott-Heenan declined the news station’s request for comment.

Gifford also released a statement to KCUR on the nurse’s departure.

"Saint Luke's is deeply committed to our culture of diversity and inclusion," Gifford said. "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."

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