McDonald’s has issued an apology after receiving several complaints that their festive Halloween decorations in a Massachusetts store bore a striking resemblance to a lynching scene.
The location, which is located in North Andover, has confirmed that they have removed the offending decorations, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to put it up in the first place.
McDonald’s is a franchised company, which means that you can ‘buy’ the name and rights to sell the product, but each location has a specific owner.
This location’s owner and operator, Chuck Lietz, released a statement after the location’s social media blew up and he became aware of how many people perceived this as a tasteless decorating attempt.
“Creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all our guests and employees is critically important to us,” he said. “and we apologize for any unintended offense that may have had on our community.”
Some question whether McDonald’s corporation supplied the decorations, but if they did, we would be seeing a lot more offensive trees in fast food locations around the US.
The Halloween decorations are black stick-on decorations that appear to be below the register where you order. On top of the scene, it says “Happy Halloween”, seasonally appropriate.
It’s the images below that, that are causing the issue.
A silhouetted tree, barren of leaves, shows a black figure hanging from a noose. It is surrounded by evil-looking pumpkins in black and orange.
The decorations were first spotted by a Twitter user and local resident, Erik Pocock, who posted a video about it on his page. He has since locked down his account, but many others followed his lead and went to the store to look at the decorations.
“It looked like a typical Halloween decoration,” He told local news. “Then, you look closer and that’s not cute. That’s not right.”
Many residents also took issue with the fact that this is below the counter, making it eye-level to small children going to McDonald’s with parents. The location is also across the street from a high school.
The community of North Andover seems split. While many are offended by the choice, others say that Halloween is the season of “gory” deaths and spooky happenings.
Some don’t believe it is a racist decoration at all, but just a seasonally appropriate gruesome decoration.