Hallmark is apologizing after some altered Christmas carol lyrics landed the company in hot water. A sweater-shaped tree ornament bears the words, "Don we now our fun apparel"—rather than the traditional "gay apparel" celebrated in "Deck the Halls." The item prompted CNN anchor Carol Costello to call the Kansas City company "homophobic" on Facebook, while a Twitter user wondered if Hallmark supports "fun marriage." The former chair of the Kansas City Diversity Coalition, however, says the firm has a "proven" gay-friendly "track record" and was probably just making a joke, the Kansas City Star reports.
Hallmark issued multiple statements on the matter, KCTV reports. Unlike when the song's English lyrics were published in the 19th century, "gay" today "has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation," the firm said yesterday. Today, however, it added:
- 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. 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.
For this holiday season, however, it's too late to change things, a Hallmark rep says. "So it stays as [is] and remains for sale."