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Halloween this year isn't just an opportunity to dress up as Miley Cyrus or to get ripping drunk on a Thursday night. It's also the time of year when people and corporations alike unintentionally (and sometimes very intentionally) offend large swaths of people. Such is the case with American Apparel, reports our sister site in New York. The retailer has gone and landed itself a Change.org petition thanks to one of its window displays. AA's Voodoo or Vodoun-themed creation has upset, as of this blog post, 4,434 people. Per the petition:
"The Vodoun-themed window display, using faux sacred Fon iconography, is culturally insensitive, as it insinuates that a world religion that has been viciously and incorrectly maligned for centuries is 'spooky' and upholds the specious belief that African and African-derived religion and culture are 'seasonally appropriate' to sell Autumn/Hallowe'en-inspired items."According to this source, voodoo, vodoun or vodun has been around as a practice for more than 10,000 years and is a common religion in Brazil, Haiti, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cuba and New Orleans. All the petitioners want is for American Apparel to remove the display which, in all likelihood, will happen tomorrow after Halloween is over. If you need more context, Ebony has an excellent article about why the whole matter is offensive.
· American Apparel's 'Culturally Insensitive' Display Sparks Outrage [Racked NY]
· Remove the window display in the 183 E. Houston Street, NY, NY 10002 store. [Change.org via]