Pottery Barn pulls sushi chef, kimono costumes

Pottery Barn Apologizes For Sushi Chef, Kimono Halloween Costumes

Pottery Barn has apologized for selling a sushi chef and kimono Halloween costume that an Asian American civil rights group said were culturally offensive.

“We did not intend to offend anyone with our Halloween costumes and we apologize,” said Leigh Oshirak, vice president of public relations and marketing for Williams-Sonoma, the parent company of Pottery Barn. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

Pottery Barn confirmed late Monday that the items had been removed from its website.

The sushi chef costume featured the Rising Sun of the Japanese flag, and Asian American activists called for an “immediate removal” of the outfit and requested an apology from the retailer.

“Our problem is not with the attire itself; it is with the fact that Pottery Barn is marketing these outfits as costumes,” said Ling Woo Liu, director of strategic communications for Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Liu cited Ohio University’s student-led campaign, “We are a culture, not a costume,” which began in 2011 as an attempt to raise social awareness to combat racially stereotypical Halloween costumes. The campaign featured a series of ads showing people of different races and ethnicities next to offensive costumes.

Pottery Barn kimono costume
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