NORTH ANDOVER – Halloween is less than a week away from being celebrated throughout the world and yet, there are some elements of the holiday that are even scarier than the idea of ghosts, ghouls, and haunted houses. After all, what could be more frightening than a tone-deaf decorative display at a North Andover McDonald's? For some customers, it will undoubtedly go down as the most offensive display in this October.
The decoration, a decal placed on the McDonald's cash register counter, depicted the silhouette of a person hanged from a tree, which many customers interpreted as a lynching, including one patron, Erik Pocock who spoke with WCVB about his interpretation of the Halloween decal.
Chuck Lietz, the owner of this McDonald's location, immediately stripped the counter of the decoration and released an apology as a statement. He said, “Creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all our guests and employees is critically important to us, and we apologize for any unintended offense they may have had on our community."
Many decorations have sought to be more thoughtful about the way they depict certain elements of Halloween as history has warped the meaning behind certain "traditions." However, it does appear that such a display was not intended to be harmful or offensive.
The decoration itself was tweeted out in an image by Kimberly Bookman of WHDH News. It was an item on the nightly news from Bookman, who said that the decorations established by the McDonald's location upset some of the customers who came into the restaurant.
In all honesty, this is probably a decoration that was put up with no thought behind it, but I can also see where some people would find it to be in poor taste. Yes, Halloween is about dark things, but this is just not the most appropriate content for a McDonald's. Maybe the North Andover location will be better off in the future if they just focus on the bats and the jack-o-lanterns.