Earlier this week Hallmark made headlines and pissed off many after changing the classic text of a Christmas carol on a new ornament for the 2013 holiday season, replacing the word “gay” from “Deck the Halls” to “fun”.
In an email to Huffington Post Hallmark representative Kristi Ernsting defended the company’s move.
“When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry. Today it has multiple meanings … 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.’ That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.”
Now after much outrage and backlash from the public, Hallmark has changed suddenly its tune, the AP reports:
The company updated its statement Thursday, saying it was surprised by the public’s response and that it now realized it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics.
“We’ve been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we’re sorry to have caused so much concern,” the statement read. “We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament.”
LGBT ally and CNN anchor Carol Costello, took to her Facebook page to chime in on Hallmark’s supposedly “unintentional” homophobia.
“Oh Hallmark. You didn’t. Oh, wait you did. Hallmark’s ‘Holiday Sweater’ ornament is decorated with ‘Don we now our FUN apparel’ instead of “Don we now our GAY apparel.”Why? Hallmark says: ‘When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800’s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry,’ according to a statement released Wednesday. ‘Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.’ Homophobic? I say, yes you are.”
And of course though Hallmark has no plans to stop selling the ornament or re-issue an updated one with the word “gay” instead of “fun”. But that’s okay. No self respecting gay man would ever be seen buying such a tacky ornament anyway.