KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Greeting card giant Hallmark said Thursday it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics to ‘‘Deck the Halls’’ on a new holiday ornament that stirred a backlash from customers online.
The company, based in Kansas City, has been defending itself after it began selling a miniaturized version of a tacky holiday sweater that changes the lyrics to the carol. The ornament removes the word ‘‘gay’’ and emblazons the sweater with the phrase: ‘‘Don we now our FUN apparel!’’
Critics took to Twitter and Hallmark’s Facebook page, accusing the company of making a political statement by using the word ‘‘fun’’ to replace ‘‘gay.’’ Some commenters said that they would never again buy Hallmark merchandise and that the change amounted to the company rewriting Christmas classics in the name of political correctness.
The company initially responded in a statement by saying the multiple meanings attached to the word ‘‘gay’’ meant the sweater’s lyrics would be open to misinterpretation. “The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that,’’ it said.
The company updated its statement Thursday, saying it realized it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics. But a spokeswoman said the company has no plans to stop selling the ornament.