Mass. McDonald’s apologizes after ‘shocking’ Halloween decoration sparks outrage

NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) -

The owner of a McDonald’s restaurant in North Andover issued an apology after some customers were outraged by a “shocking” Halloween decoration that was placed near the cash register.

Erik Pocock was at the fast-food counter on Chickering Road ordering food on Tuesday when he looked down spotted a Halloween decal that showed a person hanging from a tree.

“We saw these Halloween decorations right under the registers and we were like ‘oh that’s cool,'” Pocock told 7NEWS. “Then we looked closer and we were really shocked.”

An outraged Pocock stepped back from the counter and took a video of the decoration.

“Any hatred towards any race or any person is just extremely unacceptable, especially for a large establishment like McDonald’s,” Pocock added.

Some customers said the image could be interpreted as a lynching.

“That’s not a friendly Halloween thing,” Stephan Long said. “That’s kind of a nasty Halloween thing.”

Two of the decorations were placed under the registers in a spot that would level with the eyes of most children.

“McDonald’s represents Ronald McDonald, helping children,” one woman said. “Across the street from a high school, it’s just wrong.”

The restaurant sits across the street from North Andover High School and it serves as a popular hangout spot for teenagers.

“Something so insensitive like this, they need to take it down,” Pocock said. “They should have thought twice about putting it up.”

The decoration was taken down when 7NEWS showed up to get a glimpse of it.

In a statement, restaurant owner and operator Chuck Lietz said, “We deeply regret that these decorations were on display, and as soon as we identified the inappropriate content, we immediately removed the decorations display. Creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all our guests and employees is critically important to us, and we apologize for any unintended offense they may have had on our community.”

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