Washington city forced to remove ‘tasteless’ ‘Karen’-themed Halloween display after residents complain
A city in Washington state was forced to remove a “Karen”-themed Halloween display after residents fired off complaints that it was “offensive.”
“The City of Prosser removed the Halloween display at City Hall and has withdrawn its entry into the Historic Downtown Prosser decorating contest,” a press release from the city stated. “City officials acknowledge the display was inconsistent with the spirit of the competition.”
The display showed a scarecrow-styled decoration, with a mannequin wearing a shirt reading “Can I speak to the manager?” The display was sitting next to a sign saying, “Karen’s Garden.”
“Karen” is a controversial pejorative term targeting privileged White women.
City Manager Thomas Glover said the display was set up by city employees but did not say whether the display was approved by the city beforehand, according to the Tri-City Herald.
Some social media responses on the town’s Facebook page described the display as offensive and “tasteless.”
“I found the city of Prosser display Tasteless, Disrespectful, Hurtful, Totally Uncalled for childish and MEAN The city Of Prosser should Make a Public Apology . To ALL the women in the Greater Prosser Area, (whose) First Name Is Karen and all so to the Citizens of Prosser . That was A Very Unprofessional Of THE CITY OF PROSSER from the Top Down … ,” Mike Ray Carrell wrote, according to the Tri-City Herald.
Members of a town group opposing a plan to replace Prosser City Hall and the local police station via a $16.8 million bond package told the outlet the display took aim at a leader of their group.
“This past weekend, City Hall entered an annual Halloween decorating contest with a ghoulish scarecrow dressed up to look like me. Several people who understood the context behind the display immediately complained to the city,” Friends of Downtown Prosser member Maricela Sanchez told the Tri-City Herald. “Prosser City Hall engaged in targeted, public harassment of a private Prosser citizen on public grounds.”
“They created a grotesque effigy to publicly humiliate a city resident as retaliation for opposing a city bond proposal on the upcoming ballot,” she wrote.
Glover denied the display was aimed at one person in particular.
“It’s just unfortunate that some people decided it was targeted toward a resident,” he told the Tri-City Herald. “I think it got out of hand.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Historic Downtown Prosser and Glover but did not immediately receive responses.
Prosser is located in south-central Washington, about a 45-minute drive from the Oregon border.