LAURELVILLE, OH (WCMH) — Blackface, a noose around his neck, and the phrase “Black Lives Matter” written on a T-shirt: A Laurelville teen’s Halloween costume has earned the ire of the internet after he wore this outfit to a Halloween party.
Two photos were posted to social media by the teen’s family. In one, a girl dressed as a scary clown even appeared to drag the Logan Elm High School student by the noose.
The teen, his family, and their local pizza shop have all received violent threats. One family says most of the threats called into their pizza shop have been from outside Ohio.
Laurelville small business owner Marion Baker said photos like these are inappropriate and can certainly impact your business.
“It’s a great pizza shop. We all make bad decisions at times in life and it’s my opinion that wasn’t an appropriate decision to make right now,” he said.
Family members have since removed the social media posts with the photos. They have also apologized online.
Giovanni’s corporate spokesperson Jeff Barnes said the company takes its reputation very seriously and is launching and internal investigation and having private conversations with then franchisee. Still, Baker said this is the last kind of attention little Laurelville needs.
“This is definitely not the publicity we need in the heart of Hocking County and the awesome Hocking Hills with the fall color and fall seasons. You know, that would be a lot more acceptable,” Baker said.
The Giovanni’s corporate office has encouraged the family to close its business until the controversy blows over. One family member said this is how they make ends meet and will not be bullied or close their doors as a result of the threats.