Party City has ordered all of its stores to remove a kids’ Halloween costume of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee after a parent complained it was a “symbol of hate.”
A store in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia, located just outside the nation’s capital, was selling the costume for Halloween. Party City corporate said the store was a franchise one and was not owned by the company.
“At Party City, we do not tolerate racism or hatred of any kind, and we stand together in solidarity with our diverse colleagues, customers, and communities,” the company said, according to WVEC-TV.
“As the leader in Halloween with more than 60 million customers per year, Party City supplies a broad assortment of costumes, none of which are meant to be offensive in any way. The costume in question was sold at a franchise location and is not produced or sold in any Party City corporate-owned stores. We have reached out to our franchisees and other partners to remove it from all retail locations ASAP.
“We know that as a company, we can and must do better, and we’re taking immediate action. We value customer feedback and will continue to evaluate how to make each shopping experience fun and welcoming for all as we support efforts in inclusion internally, in our communities, and beyond.”
A mother said she was shopping at the store for costumes for her two daughters when she noticed two costumes of Confederate soldiers containing the Confederate flag. Below them was the Robert E. Lee one.
“The Confederate flag to me is a symbol of racism. To have that out there for a child to wear on Halloween sends so many horrible messages,” she said, according to the report. “I’m the adoptive parent of two beautiful African American girls.
“We discuss race, we respect race. And to see something like that just flies in the face of everything I try to teach them to be proud young women.”
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