An “Anne Frank costume for girls” being sold on online Halloween costume stores whipped up controversy across the internet on Monday.
This Anne Frank costume was pulled from some online stores. But is it still available? https://t.co/WzPCLpkZTo
— Jerod MacDonald-Evoy (@JerodMacEvoy) October 16, 2017
The costume included a green beret, blue coat, brown satchel and name tag.
As of Monday evening, the questionable outfit was still available at Walmart though a spokesperson said the company is “looking into” it. The costume is being marketed as “Child World War II Evacuee Girl Costume” on the retail giant’s website.
Screenshots of the costume were widely shared across Twitter with many questioning the insensitive or questionable nature of the outfit.
The picture of the costume features a young girl with her hand on her hip and a slight smile.
The marketing text touts the costume as a bit of an homage to the historical hero, saying that the young victim of the Holocaust “could become an inspiration to us all.”
Additional text says “your child can play the role of a World War II hero with this girls’ World War II costume.” The description goes on to detail the fabric and materials used to construct the outfit.
Carlo Sage with the Anti-Defamation League accused retailers of trivializing Frank’s memory when it should instead by commemorated in “better ways.”
HalloweenCostumes.com defended the outfit, saying the costume has “many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays,” though it was ultimately pulled from the site.
In a statement provided to Fox News, Alexandra DeVitt, a spokesperson for the Anne Frank Center, called the costume “offensive” and that it “trivializes her suffering.”
“There are more appropriate ways to commemorate the legacy of Anne Frank than through a Halloween costume, which is offensive and trivializes her suffering and the suffering of millions during the Holocaust,” DeVitt said. “We are pleased that the costume has been pulled.”
In response to the controversy, Ross Walker Smith, a spokesperson for HalloweenCostumes.com, apologized for “any offense it has caused” and noted that the company makes costumes for a number of uses, not just Halloween.
— Ross Walker Smith 🎃 (@RossWalkerSmith) October 16, 2017