Bed Bath & Beyond pulls black jack-’o-lanterns after complaints about ‘blackface’

NYACK, N.Y. (NEWS 12/CNN) - Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond has removed black jack-o’-lanterns after complaints that they were in blackface.

Objections first arose in Nyack, New York, where the pumpkins were part of a Halloween display at a law firm.

Some residents thought the jack-o’-lanterns were harmless, but others, like local NAACP director Wilbur Aldridge said they showed “an extreme lack of sensitivity.”

The law firm decided to take those 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 law partner Mary Marzolla.

Marzolla says the pumpkins, personalized with the names of each partner at the Feerick, Nugent and MacCartney law firm, were never meant to offend anybody.

"We represent people of all colors and faiths, and we would never do anything to exclude anyone from any community,” she said.

Her associate, Alak Shah, said he never thought 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,” Shah said.

Even though they’ve been removed, both attorneys wonder why the decorations didn’t raise flags at the store where they were purchased.

“If you're going to Bed Bath & Beyond, you don't think they're going to be selling offensive material,” Marzolla said.

Bed Bath & Beyond apologized, saying that any offense was unintentional and that they've "immediately removed" the pumpkins from sale.

The store says they took action after being contacted by News 12 but would not say if they’d received any other complaints.

Copyright 2019 News 12 via CNN. All rights reserved.