EDMONTON, ALBERTA — Halloween Alley, a top Canadian costume retailer, has pulled its controversial “Pochottie” Halloween costume from its shelves across Canada. This action comes two days before Halloween.
This comes in the aftermath of much backlash by First Nations citizens who went to social media denouncing the scanty costume. The costume for women depicts the Disney character Pocahontas in low-cut and short dress.
Tony Hugens, director of retail development for Halloween Alley released the following statement on Wednesday, October 29, 2014:
Halloween Alley would like to acknowledge several customers and members of our community on Facebook and Twitter who recently brought to our attention the potentially offensive nature of a costume we had available in our stores across Canada. The Pocahottie costume has been identified as potentially offensive to aboriginal women and the aboriginal culture as a whole.
Our core value as a company is friends and family, and it saddens us to hear that our stores unintentionally offended some members of the communities we do business in. We apologize for this situation and we are planning to bring this up with our vendors and manufacturers of costumes, to do our best to protect the integrity of the industry.
We also now recognize how insensitive the costume in question may come across as to the aboriginal community, and we have since removed the costume from our stores.
It is not our intention to offend any race or creed. We would like to stress that as some Halloween costumes might come across as controversial, our intention at Halloween Alley is to celebrate life (Halloween Style!), and have fun with our friends and families during Halloween festivities. This of course should not come at the expense of someone getting hurt.
Thank you for bringing up this issue and sharing your concerns with us. We will everyone a happy and safe Halloween!