‘Anne Frank’ Halloween costume branded tasteless in online backlash
Online retailers selling a ‘Halloween’ costume of iconic diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank have been accused of 'trivializing her memory’ after images of the outfit sparked fury.
The costume contains a long sleeve blue dress, brown shoulder bag and green beret and was for sale on US and European websites for a brief period before the backlash gained momentum online.
The outfit was intended to be an inspirational costume which highlighted that "we can always learn from the struggles of history." The costume was advertised elsewhere as a "World War II refugee" and did not directly reference Anne Frank, whose diary became an international bestseller, selling more 35 million copies worldwide, according to The New York Times.
HalloweenCostumes.com removed the costume from its website Sunday, apologizing for the offense caused. Spokesperson Ross Walker Smith said sorry on Monday.
“We sell costumes not only for Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We offer several types of historically accurate costumes – from prominent figures to political figures, to television characters,” Walker-Smith tweeted.
“We take feedback from customers very seriously. We have passed along the feedback regarding this costume, and it has been removed from the website at this time,” he wrote.
Carlos Galindo-Elvira, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona, condemned the costume for trivializing Frank’s memory.
There r better ways 2 commemorate Anne Frank. This is not one. We should not trivialize her memory as a costume.— carlosgeADL (@carlosgeADL) October 16, 2017
The popular website Halloween Costumes is selling an Anne Frank costume for kids. WTF? pic.twitter.com/cqKQ9UlIge— Daniel Arenson (@DanielArenson) October 15, 2017
However, not everyone believed the costume was out of line, with some lamenting what they perceive as political correctness gone mad.