Pottery Barn apologizes for sale of sushi chef Halloween costumes

Oct. 29, 2013 at 3:18 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Pottery Barn's parent company in San Francisco apologized for marketing a Halloween costume an Asian-American group said was culturally offensive.

Retailer Williams-Sonoma's sale of a sushi chef costume, with a kimono and a headband depicting a Japanese "rising sun" motif, brought a demand for its "immediate removal" from Asian civil-rights activists, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Williams-Sonoma confirmed Monday it removed the costume from its website. In a statement, Leigh Oshirak, vice president of public relations and marketing, said the company "did not intend to offend anyone with our Halloween costumes, and we apologize."

"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 of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. She cited a college campaign of several years ago that used the slogan, "We're a culture, not a costume."

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