Hallmark has found itself in hot water over one of its new Christmas ornaments offered for sale on its website. The ornament, shown above, features a sweater in which the lyrics to the popular Christmas carol “Deck The Halls” have been changed by omitting the word “gay.” In a statement posted by Foxnews.com, the company defended the decision to change the lyrics by claiming that the word gay once meant being “festive or merry.” Today, the company said, “it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”
Some lashed out at the company. According to the Associated Press, critics took to Twitter and Hallmark’s Facebook page, accusing the company of making a political statement. Others suggested removing the word gay demonstrated a homophobic bias.
Hallmark, of course, can market their products any way they choose. In deciding to develop this particular product, they no doubt felt that the risk of anti-gay backlash was minimal. But it makes one wonder why they decided to take the risk in the first place. Couldn’t they have come up with another concept that was a bit less controversial? Was the design of the ornament worth the risk? Moreover, what’s wrong with “misinterpretation?” Reviews on the company’s website seemed to run the gamut, with most being in favor it. What do you think?
Sources: Hallmark, FoxNews.com, Associated Press