A Halloween display — apparently showing an African-American family hanging from a tree branch — was recently removed from a yard in Kentucky.
The setting appeared to feature two adult and two child mannequins, as seen in a photograph published on ClarksvilleNow.com. The image shows a knife in the back of one of the adolescents, who is clinging to the feet of an adult-looking figure. Another character holds a sign that is illegible in the picture.
The Fort Campbell resident removed the decorations upon hearing about concerns from the community, the local NBC News affiliate reported.
Several distasteful Halloween costumes usually appear each October. Days before the holiday this year, people have been dressed up as former Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely from the NFL in September for knocking his then-fiance unconscious in an elevator. Last year, a woman chose to dress up as a Boston bombing victim, months after the terrorist attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
But the scene in Kentucky isn’t the first to receive criticism from a local community. In 2012, the Secret Service visited the home of a California resident who hung an effigy of President Barack Obama on his front lawn. The owner said the decoration wasn’t a threat, but rather an attempt to make his home appear scary for Halloween.
Actress Julianne Hough, the two-time professional champion of “Dancing with the Stars,” apologized last year after dressing as an inmate from the Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black.” Hough, who is blonde-haired and blue-eyed, disguised herself as the character “Crazy Eyes” by wearing blackface makeup and an orange jumpsuit. Uzo Aduba, who is black, plays the TV character.
Also last year, men dressed as George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, with a T-shirt that read “Neighborhood Watch” and a blood-stained sweatshirt and blackface, respectively. A jury acquitted Zimmerman last summer in the shooting death of the Florida teenager.
The new satire, “Dear White People,” which opened earlier this month, portrays racially offensive costume parties where white attendees don blackface and mock stereotypical hip-hop fashion.
“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams, who is black, took to Twitter earlier this week to speak out against costumes he views as racist.