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

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NYACK, N.Y. — Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond has removed black jack-o'-lanterns after "blackface complaints."

Objections first arose in Nyack, New York, after a law firm put the pumpkins on the front porch.

The local NAACP director, Wilbur Aldridge, said it shows "an extreme lack of sensitivity."

And with this reaction, 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 Mary Marzolla, a partner at the firm.

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.

Since they've been removed, both attorneys are left wondering 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 and Beyond has since apologized, saying that any offense was unintentional and that they've "immediately removed" the pumpkins from sale.

"We can discuss this, have a dialogue about it," Marzolla said.

The store says they took action after they were contacted but would not say if they'd received any other complaints.

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