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Hallmark’s ugly sweater ornament stirs controversy

Published: Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 10:59 a.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Greeting card giant Hallmark said Thursday that it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics to “Deck the Halls” on a new holiday ornament that stirred a backlash from customers online.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company has been defending itself after it began selling a miniaturized version of a tacky holiday sweater that changes the lyrics to the holiday carol. The ornament removes the word “gay” and emblazons the sweater with the phrase: “Don we now our FUN apparel!”

Critics took to Twitter and Hallmark’s Facebook page, accusing the company of making a political statement by using the word “fun” to replace “gay.” Some Facebook commenters said they would never again buy Hallmark merchandise and that the change amounted to the company rewriting Christmas classics in the name of political correctness. Others suggested removing the word “gay” demonstrated a homophobic bias.

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.

Hallmark spokeswoman Linda Odell said the company has no plans to stop selling the ornament.

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