Town removes ‘Karen’-themed display when local complains ‘ghoulish scarecrow dressed up to look like me’

Ah, the joys of small town America — or not.

The town of Prosser, Washington, population 6,288, has taken down a Halloween display featuring a “Karen” asking to see a manager after a resident claimed that the scarecrow-like figure was intended to ridicule her. The display included a sign that read “Karen’s Garden,” along with a mannequin wearing T-shirt that read, “Can I speak to the manager?”

“This past weekend, City Hall entered an annual Halloween decorating contest with a ghoulish scarecrow dressed up to look like me,” Marciela Sanchez complained in a statement, according to the Yakima Herald. “Several people who understood the context behind the display immediately complained to the city.”

“They created a grotesque effigy to publicly humiliate a city resident as retaliation for opposing a city bond proposal on the upcoming ballot,” she insisted.

Sanchez has lived in the town her entire life and helps lead a community group called Friends of Prosser, which opposes an upcoming $16.8 million bond package to replace city hall and the police station, the Herald reported.

A representative for the group told the newspaper that the spouse of a city employee had recently taken to calling some of the leadership “Karens.”

While it’s not clear if the display was approved by city leadership beforehand, the complaints resulted in a quick surrender.

“The City of Prosser removed the Halloween display at City Hall and has withdrawn its entry into the Historic Downtown Prosser decorating contest,” a city representative said in a statement, according to the Herald. “City officials acknowledge the display was inconsistent with the spirit of the competition.”

City Manager Thomas Glover disputed the accusations leveled by  Sanchez.

“This was in no way intended to be a political statement, a likeness to any individual or community group,” he said. “We have investigated the issue internally and found that no one who participated in creating the entry intended any malice. These actions were regrettable, but unintentional.”

“It’s just unfortunate that some people decided it was targeted toward a resident,” Glover added. “I think it got out of hand.”


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