Race row as 'blackface' figure HANGED from pub sign – but staff say snowflakes rushed to offence 

Race row as 'blackface' figure HANGED from pub sign – but staff say snowflakes rushed to offence 

Race row as ‘blackface’ figure is HANGED from pub sign – but staff say snowflakes have rushed to take offence and the dark football was all they had to hand

  • The Kings Head near Sudbury, Suffolk, caused controversy with hanging figure
  • Members of Facebook group said could trigger those who lost people to suicide
  • Worker said pub was getting into spirit of Halloween, calling outrage ‘pathetic’ 
  • The 17th century Pub said it prides itself on being an ‘inclusive, community pub’


A pub has been branded ‘offensive’ and ‘inappropriate’ after attaching a life-size model of a hanged man – who appears to be black – to its road-side signage.

A group of residents reacted with fury online, accusing The Kings Head in Great Cornard, near Sudbury, Suffolk, of ‘triggering’ people who may have lost loved ones to suicide.

Others said the dark-coloured football used to represent the hanging man’s head – coupled with a boater hat and black jacket and leggings, made it appear as if it was a ‘black minstrel caricature’.

The 17th century pub has since hit back at the comments, with a spokesperson explaining that the football was green and that they ‘strongly objected’ to the ‘blackface narrative’.

One worker told Mail Online the outrage was ‘pathetic’ and from the ‘snowflake generation’  – adding that the figure was just the pub trying to get into the spirit of Halloween and that the ball happened to be all they had to hand.

Many regulars also defended the controversial figure, saying it was not meant to cause offence and was ‘a harmless bit of fun.’

The outcry led the pub to turn the figure around, so that it was hanging by its feet instead of its head.

One nearby resident who asked not to be named, said: ‘The image of a man hanging is sick and outrageous. It is incredibly insulting to anyone who has lost a loved one.

A group of residents reacted with fury online, accusing The King’s Head in Great Cornard, Suffolk, of ‘triggering’ people who may have lost loved ones to suicide after it strung up a life-size figure of a man hanging from a noose (pictured)

‘But the fact that the figure has a black face with a boater hat, a black jacket and black leggings makes it reminiscent of a black minstrel caricature.

‘I am sure that there was no intent to be racist or offensive, but it looked like an image of a black man being lynched.’

A worker at the pub, who did not give his name, told Mail Online: ‘It’s just a dummy, it’s not racist, the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

‘The football belonged to the owners and their dog had punctured it, that’s why they used it, this is the least racist pub in the world, it’s owned by people from Iran and Pakistan.

‘We’ve all had enough now, it’s pathetic, it’s all part of the snowflake generation who have got nothing else to do.’

The figure was strung up at the same time as the pub put out carved pumpkins above its doors, along with fake spider’s webs over its windows and ghoulish bunting to publicise its Halloween party this Saturday.

The Sudbury Suffolk Moaners Facebook group attracted scores of comments after posting a picture of the hanging figure with the question: ‘Anybody know what this macabre sight is all about?’

Many described it as ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate’ and a potential ‘trigger’ for anyone mourning the loss of a loved one from suicide.

The post was later deleted and replaced with a new one showing the figure hanging by its feet instead of its neck.

Members of the group welcomed the move as a compromise to avoid causing offence to families of those who have taken their own lives.

One member said: ‘It wasn’t a case of whinging. A lifesize model of a man hanging from a sign by their neck is extremely insensitive and irresponsible considering the amount of people that hang themselves every year.

‘I’m all up for a laugh, but not when it might make someone feel uncomfortable or traumatised. Thank you for changing this to something that is actually funny and not insensitive.’

Another said: ‘Being ‘offended’ by something is totally different from being traumatised or mentally triggered by something.

‘Those taking the pee about something they are lucky never to have experienced are incapable of showing compassion and empathy for others. Let’s hope one day they never have to go through what some of you have had to.’

But another comment added: ‘The poor people that have been though losing someone this way, will hurt everyday anyways. It seems nowadays people look for things to be offended by.’

A third said: ‘I had a friend hang herself, I also had a friend gas herself in her car. The Halloween decoration didn’t trigger me as it’s a decoration not a person. I don’t hide away indoors in case I see a car.’

The 17th century pub has since hit back at the claims, with a spokesperson explaining that the football was green and that they 'strongly objected' to the 'blackface narrative'

The 17th century pub has since hit back at the claims, with a spokesperson explaining that the football was green and that they ‘strongly objected’ to the ‘blackface narrative’

Retired electrical contractor Ken Grimes, 83, who lives near the pub, said: ‘I wasn’t offended by it at all. I just thought it was something to do with Halloween when I saw it hanging there.

‘To be honest, I didn’t notice that they had turned it around. I suppose it might have stopped people complaining.’

A worker at the pub who asked not to be named, told Mail Online: ‘It’s just a dummy, it’s not racist, the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

‘The black football belonged to the owners’ dog and he had punctured it, this is the least racist pub in the world, it’s owned by people from Iran and Pakistan.

‘We’ve all had enough now, it’s pathetic, it’s all part of the snowflake generation who have got nothing else to do.’

The Kings Head told Mail Online: ‘Some concerns were raised about the positioning of our hanging man on social media.

‘We immediately changed the position of the man as it was pointed out by social media users that this could cause distress to those who have experienced mental health or a loss of a loved one.

‘We accept we got this wrong. In regards to the ‘blackface’, this has not been raised to us. There is no face on the model, but an old green football was used.

‘The model was wearing a black suit and bowler hat… we remain unclear where this has come from and strongly object to this.

‘We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, community pub and are extremely hurt at this narrative.’

Advertisement

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/articles.rss

Laurence Dollimore

Leave a Reply