Bed Bath & Beyond Pulls Black Jack-o’-Lanterns over Blackface Complaint
( Breitbart )
Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond reportedly pulled all of its black jack-o’-lanterns from its stores after receiving a complaint stating that the lanterns were a form of blackface.
The controversy for the home goods store began after a law firm used the pumpkins as decorations outside their Nyack, New York, office and received complaints from community members and a local chapter of the NAACP, News 12 Westchester reported.
The law firm Feerick, Nugent, and MacCartney placed two of the all-black pumpkins with white eyes, mouth, and nose on a bed of hay outside its office but received backlash for doing so within 48 hours after community members and the local NAACP complained.
Wilbur Aldridge, director of the local chapter of the NAACP, called the pumpkin’s design “offensive” and said it showed “an extreme lack of sensitivity.”
“By now I would believe everyone [would] know that anything in Black face is offensive… Equally as offensive is that a retail store would have such an item in [their] inventory for general purchase,” the statement read, according to News 12.
The partners immediately removed the pumpkins from their display and issued an apology for displaying the jack-o’-lanterns.
“We understand that someone complained about them and so once we got word of that we immediately took them down,” Mary Marzolla, a partner at the law firm, told News 12. “We represent people of all colors and faiths, and we would never do anything to exclude anyone from any community.”
Marzolla’s associate, Alak Shah, said he did not think twice about the jack-o’-lantern display.
“It’s just nothing I take offense to personally, but since it did offend someone we took proactive steps to take it down,” said Shah.
A spokesperson for Bed Bath & Beyond told News 12 that the store immediately apologized for the pumpkins and “ultimately removed” the items from sale. The store spokesperson added that it took action after News 12 reached out, but would not say if it received other complaints.
Bed Bath & Beyond still had black decorative pumpkins for sale without facial expressions and other black jack-o’-lantern products on its website as of Wednesday afternoon.