Hallmark's "Gay" Ornament Problem Angers Just About Everyone

sweaterPhoto: Courtesy of Hallmark.
With Halloween only two days behind us, we are already in the thick of holiday season. Just this week, Hallmark began introducing new holiday products. One of those was a sweater-shaped Christmas ornament with the words "Don we now our fun apparel." Read that again. If you forget the lyrics to "Deck the Halls," we'll remind you that the word is "gay," not "fun." Either as a slight to the LGBT community or, more likely, an overly-PC marketing decision aimed at those who might take offense to the word "gay" on their Christmas trees, Hallmark has gotten themselves into hot water.
Advertisement
People have complained to the company that the replacement was either an attempt to pander to the gay population or to omit them from the holiday celebration entirely. Hallmark attempted to clarify its move in a statement: "Today [the word 'gay'] has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent 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.'"
Synonyms aren't the issue, though. It's the modification of a traditional song's lyrics to meet a non-existent neutral ground. "If somebody wants to be 'gay' that's their choice," wrote one Facebook commenter to Hallmark, "but you do not have the choice to change things just to cater to them."
Well, homosexuality actually isn't a choice — but where you get your ornaments from surely is. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Advertisement