Party City, arguably America’s biggest party supply retailers, recently removed two offensive Halloween children’s costumes from the shelves of one of its locations in Virginia after a white woman, who’s the adoptive mother of two black daughters, complained. Caroline Brasler, a resident of Arlington, was out and about shopping with her two girls at a Party City store in Brailey’s Crossroads when she spotted two costumes that made her stop in her tracks. The two children’s costumes were of Confederate uniforms, complete with hats featuring the Confederate flag. One of the outfits was a Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s costume, while the other was for a Confederate officer.
Brashler snapped photos of the costumes and put them up on her Facebook page. She had originally gone to Party City to buy two costumes for her daughters, Oliva, age 10, and Meredith, age 12.
‘The Confederate flag to me is a symbol of racism,’ she told WUSA-TV.
‘To have that out there for a child to wear on Halloween sends so many horrible messages.’
Party City responds to criticism of 'deplorable' Confederate soldier costumes for children https://t.co/q9vc2weBus
— The Independent (@Independent) September 22, 2020
Brasler added: ‘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.’
‘I’m the adoptive parent of two beautiful African American girls,’ Brasler said. ‘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’
— New York Post (@nypost) September 22, 2020
After finding the offense costumes, Brashler said she swore never to spend another dollar at that location. The mom recalled Olivia asking her why she was taking pictures of the costumes.
“I said, “That’s a Confederate flag, that’s a symbol of hate,” and she said, “Oh, ma, really?”
“Then she took off for the candy aisle.”
— Iveygirl08 (@iveygirl08) September 30, 2020
In a statement, Party City noted that the costumes in question were not authorized to be sold by the store’s corporate offices and that they were made available at the discretion of the franchise owner.
‘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 in a statement.
‘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.’
For more on this story, you can also watch the video below.