Party City is reportedly working to remove Civil War kids costumes from its franchise stores following complaints last week from a mother in Arlington, Virginia.
Caroline Brasler said she stopped at the Bailey’s Crossroads Party City store to buy Halloween costumes for her daughters when she noticed the outfits in one of the aisles, according to WUSA.
Below the Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant costume was a bearded Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and another labeled “Confederate Officer,” the outlet said.
“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,” Brasler noted.
WUSA reporter Bruce Leshan later tweeted a photo Brasler took which appeared to show the costumes in question:
— Bruce Leshan (@BruceLeshan) September 21, 2020
“Really? Deplorable display of racism found at Party City on RT 7,” she wrote, adding, “I’ll be sending a complaint.”
In a statement, Party City said it did not “tolerate racism or hatred of any kind, and we stand together in solidarity with our diverse colleagues, customers, and communities”:
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.
However, Twitter users expressed their disagreement with the company’s reported decision to pull the costumes from the shelves.
“I think the confederate outfits are fine! This is part of history. Not all confederates were racist. Not all remenbrances [sic] of Dixie are racist. STOP THE PC complaints!” one person wrote.
“Let’s keep this pseudo-holiday focused on ax murders [sic], witchcraft, the undead, and killer clowns to ensure our children are not exposed to inappropriate concepts,” another user commented.
“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 concluded.