Macy’s Mannequin Window: Reader Reactions

Macy's Mannequin

We asked, and you answered. Last week’s panning of Macy’s for their gay window display removal doesn’t seem close to ending — so we wanted to hear how else you, our readers, were reacting.

Writes in Queery reader Phillip:

I called Federated (Macy’s parent corp.) and asked to speak to someone in the PR department. I got a woman on the line who seemed to have spent a while giving people the official response to ‘the incident in Boston”, and this was that there was a communication error internally, that it wasn’t ordered from on high that the mannequins be taken down, and that it was a huge misunderstanding that they regret. Macy’s supports the gay commuity, blah blah blah.

She assured me that giving the finger to gay pride was NOT their intention, even if the mannequins were pulled due to a miscommunication — she mentioned that they participated in the parade, that they had fair employment practices, and so on. I pointed out that it seemed a little disingenuous for them to push the whole thing over with a “whoops! we goofed” if that REALLY is their position, and the public had largely made up its mind that Macy’s failed to manifest any sort of a spine when pressed on the matter.

The display had apparently been scheduled to be taken down due to the end of Pride anyhow (though I’m not sure when this is for Boston…so I can’t verify anything). And they are planning to make a big showing in New York Pride to leave no doubt in the public’s mind that they are actually supporters. At this point I suggested that they ship the mannequins in question up to NYC and put them on the Macy’s float. She thought that was a pretty good idea, at which point I thought “good enough” and thanked her for her time.

After the jump, a few more first-hand accounts..

Reader Adam writes in:

I sent them a note through their website–got one ‘canned’ reply (the already seen generic diversity message) and this. We’ll see what happens; I’ll be posting this to my blog as well.


Dear Adam [redacted]:

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us. We have received your message,
and it’s been forwarded to Sue McMahon, Macy’s Vice President for Customer
Service, for review and response. Please be assured we take your message
very seriously. Sue or someone from her office will contact you in the near
future. We appreciate your business. Thanks for shopping our stores.

Comments: As a former Boston-area resident (four years undergraduate work
and two years graduate work) I find the generic email explaining your
ludicrous decision to remove two innocent male mannequins from a display
disheartening at best. Were they kissing? Holding hands? Wearing lipstick?
Good heavens, no; they were actually standing next to each other!
If the KKK had objected to you showing African American mannequins, would
you have withdrawn those?
Did you actually take the accusations of “enlarged breasts” seriously?
Wouldn’t it have been easier to say, “Gosh, the mannequins used in our Pride
display were physically identical to the ones wearing three-piece pinstripe
suits in our men’s department”? Or could you have simply exchanged the
‘skirt’ for a rainbow colored pair of shorts?
Have you read the MassResistance blog? Did you notice the inability to
comment, or even contact the group via email? Did you try donating and
discover a blank page? Perhaps you might try abandoning display windows
altogether, since you appear willing to change things at the slightest
Let’s talk business. Who do you think shops more at your upscale,
fashionable store? Right wing religious conservatives, or fashionable gay

And Tyler sent Macy’s this email:

While reading the front page of our newspaper in Oregon, I came across a story about Macy’s corporate decision to remove any mannequins that could remotely be associated with the gay population of America. As Macy’s spokeswoman, Elina Kazan quotes, “We believe in diversity, and our customers are very important to us,” Kazan said. “But (the display) did offend a few of our customers, and we had to re-examine it”. The customers she was specifically referring to belonged to a religious conservative group called MassResistance, whose frequent attempts to purge American society of diversity and culture can only be compared to Hitlers vision of ridding Germany of its minority groups. According to the Family Research Institution (, 10% of American men (29,573,413 men based on current population estimates) and 5% of American women (14,786,706 based on current population estimates) are gay. I understand that Macy’s has their best interest in mind by choosing to exclude almost 50 million Americans from their displays in an effort to win the support of a few religious extremist groups. As for the 50 million Americans that you have managed to offend, well who needs their business anyway. We all know that gay people have no sense of fashion and probably never shop for clothes anyway.

The reason I am writing you is that I support equality, even in discrimination. For this reason, I am requesting that Macy’s promptly remove all black colored mannequins from their displays as well. Once again, as Elina Kazan has stated, “But (the display) did offend a few of our customers, and we had to re-examine it” you need to re-examine your displays again for black mannequins also. You see their are still many groups in this country that do not accept black people as being part of Americas social fabric. Some of these groups like the Klu Klux Clan, for instance, are quite large in membership and easily out number smaller religious extremists groups like MassResistance. More importantly, is for you to remove any instances of male and female mannequins together of different shades as this really offends the anti-interracial bigot groups in this country. I am not sure what a Jewish mannequin looks like but if you have any, you should remove those as well. I run a website that garners 5,000 unique visitors every day. I have made this my front page story for the time being. My viewers are very eager to see if you are willing to become an equal opportunity discriminator. Please respond to this letter as soon as possible.