The St. Louis Zoo has decided to take down its ghost display after several people complained that the hanging ghouls looked more like lynched slaves.
According to KYUE, the ghost display at the zoo consisted of about 10 characters, all with black faces, hanging from trees around the zoo. Chris Burchett, a zoo patron, said that he was “outraged” when he saw the display on Facebook and immediately contacted officials to have the figures removed.
“It was like a complete outrage to me, it was very hurtful … The picture appeared to be black people hanging from a rope. It’s impossible that you could not see that that’s racist you know, there’s no way.”
The zoo said that an outside vendor created the display. The figures light up at night and appear to be faceless ghosts. During the day, however, the ghosts clearly have black faces and could be perceived the wrong way.
Wyndel Hill, Vice President of Internal Relations at the St. Louis Zoo, said:
“We’ve looked at what we’ve seen in terms of photographs, we’ve discussed and we’ve made the decision that we’ll take them down.”
Surprisingly, the zoo has not removed the picture from Facebook.
Here’s the controversial ghost display at the St. Louis Zoo.
Several people have chimed in on the controversy on Facebook.
One person writes: “Are those slaves? Who thought of this bright idea at the St. Louis Zoo.”
Another adds: “I usually think people overreact to things, but these ghost look like slaves. And I’m pretty sure that’s not the look the zoo is going for.”
Some people, however, defended the zoo, saying that people have to stop being so uptight.
What do you think? Is the image above racist? Did the St. Louis Zoo make the right choice by taking down the display?