The traditional colors of Halloween are black and orange, but while orange pumpkins are OK, putting a black one on the front step can draw cries of victimization along with a media always eager to side with the offended.
Bed Bath & Beyond has removed black jack-o’-lantern decorations from its shelves after News 12 Westchester in New York launched an investigation — an investigation — that stemmed from complaints in Nyack about the product.
A Halloween display in front of a law firm was taken down in Nyack because the jack-o’-lanterns upset some community members, who went to the news media. The jack-o’-lanterns are painted black with white mouths and eyes.
The reaction from some community members led the Feerick, Nugent, MacCartney Law Offices to take the pumpkins down less than 48 hours after setting them out on the porch.
“We understand that someone complained about them and so once we got word of that we immediately took them down,” said Mary Marzolla, a partner at the law firm. Marzolla said the pumpkins, personalized with the names of each partner at the firm on South Broadway, were never meant to offend anyone. “We represent people of all colors and faiths, and we would never do anything to exclude anyone from any community,” she says.
Her associate, Alak Shah, says he didn’t think twice about the jack-o’-lanterns. “It’s just nothing I take offense to personally, but since it did offend someone we took proactive steps to take it down,” he says.
Local NAACP Director Wilbur Aldridge says it shows an “extreme lack of sensitivity.”
No word yet on black cats, cauldrons, witches’ robes, castles, houses, coffins or cupcakes.
Bed Bath & Beyond apologized, saying that any offense at the black-painted pumpkins was unintentional and that it “immediately removed” them from shelves. The store said it took action after News 12 began investigating, but would not say if it had gotten other complaints.