Bad Timing for Headless Halloween Displays

Busch GardensWhat's fun one year isn't fun the next. Severed heads have been part of many Halloween decorations, but recent beheadings by the terrorist group ISIS make these displays seem insensitive. Several Westerners have been murdered by ISIS, which has distributed graphic videos.

Fox was the first organization to apologize for joking about a severed head. Two weeks ago, to promote the DVD series "Sleepy Hollow," 20th Century Fox created e-cards and encouraged journalists to promote "Headless Day." 

As Fox says in its apology, the timing was unfortunate:

We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement. The tragic news of Steven Sotloff's death hit the web as the email was being sent.

Our deepest sympathies are with him and his family, and we don't take the news lightly.

Had we have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it's in poor taste.

Please accept our sincerest apologies.

Busch Gardens also has an excuse: It's Halloween. Still, the severed head props aren't being received well. The company issued this statement:

The props in this year's event were designed and purchased several months ago. In light of recent events, some of these props have the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and are being removed. Busch Gardens apologizes for any offense they may have caused.

Discussion Starters:

  • Should organizations refrain from headless displays for Halloween, or are people just too sensitive?
  • Assess both apologies. What differences and similarities do you notice?