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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 2 April, 2020

Hallmark erases 'gay' from Christmas ornament (then apologises)

“Don we now our fun apparel” just doesn’t quite work, does it?


GREETING CARD COMPANY Hallmark has apologised after it took the word ‘gay’ off this Christmas ornament.

The firm faced accusations of homophobia on social media after the mini jumper went on sale. The Christmas bauble features the second verse of Deck The Halls, but ‘gay apparel’ has been replaced by ‘fun apparel’.

Following criticism, the company said in a statement:

We’re sorry to have caused so much concern. We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realise we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament.

Critics took to Twitter and Hallmark’s Facebook page, accusing the company of making a political statement by using the word “fun” to replace “gay.”

Some Facebook commenters said they would never again buy Hallmark merchandise and that the change amounted to the company rewriting Christmas classics in the name of political correctness. Others suggested removing the word “gay” demonstrated a homophobic bias.

The company initially responded by saying the multiple meanings attached to the word “gay” meant the sweater’s lyrics would be “open to misinterpretation.”

“The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: ‘fun.’ That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.”

However, it updated its statement yesterday with an apology. Hallmark said it has no plans to stop selling the ornament.

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Associated Press

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