Party City stirs controversy with Confederate soldier costume for kids

Christy Strawser
September 22, 2020 - 12:51 pm

(WWJ) Remember when your Halloween costume options were limited to clowns, zombie or a soldier fresh from the battlefield at Gettysburg, looking wounded but proud?

No wait, that's not a thing.

Party City was called out on social media for selling a confederate soldier costume complete with flag.

The costume was spotted in Arlington, Va., and called out by Caroline Brasler, the adoptive parent of two Black girls who said she was shocked when she saw it. "We discuss race, we respect race. And to see something like that just flies in the face of everything I try to teach them to be proud young women," Brasler said.

She said after spotting the Confederate costumes, she refused to buy her daughters their Halloween gear at Party City.

"No more princesses for them!" she said.

After an outcry on social media, the store sent out a statement saying, "At Party City, we do not tolerate racism or hatred of any kind, and we stand together in solidarity with our diverse colleagues, customers, and communities."

They blamed a franchisee for selling the costume, saying it wasn't sold in any corporate-owned stores.

"As the leader in Halloween with more than 60 million customers per year, Party City supplies a broad assortment of costumes, none of which are meant to be offensive in any way. The costume in question was sold at a franchise location and is not produced or sold in any Party City corporate-owned stores. We have reached out to our franchisees and other partners to remove it from all retail locations ASAP. We know that as a company, we can and must do better, and we’re taking immediate action. We value customer feedback and will continue to evaluate how to make each shopping experience fun and welcoming for all as we support efforts in inclusion internally, in our communities, and beyond."

The costumes don't come up on the Party City website, but a local news outlet reported they were still in stock at the Bailey's Crossroads store in Virginia as of Monday afternoon.

Confederate soldier costumes for kids are also still available on Amazon.

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