WINNIPEG —; A child’s Halloween costume is causing a stir but even more offensive is what the price tag said.
A Winnipeg woman on Facebook posted two photos Wednesday of a kid’s traditional indigenous dance outfit that was for sale at Once Upon A Child in St. James. But the price tag on the item said “Rubbies”, a derogatory term that describes someone who drinks rubbing alcohol.
Disgust and anger spread quickly online but the owners of the store say there was no ill will. The brand of the item is actually “Rubies”, but a computer system error accidentally added the extra b on all Rubies costumes.
“We feel horrible that we have offended people it was never our intention. We’re a new store and we’re just learning and just starting out and we’re going to make mistakes and we made a mistake and we apologize for it,” said Christina Dunlop.
Dunlop husband Dave said his wife was in tears after seeing the reaction on Facebook and contacted the head office in Minneapolis where the error was made. It’s being fixed.
“there’s 320 stores in north america that use the same database so it could have been 10,000 costumes in the last decade that had that error on them,” said Dave Dunlop.
There are other costumes like a catapillar and Yoda that also said Rubbies on the price tag.
Dunlop says the costume has been removed and all other costumes with those tags will be corrected.
Sandra Tomson, a University of Winnipeg Aboriginal Studies Professor says she had never heard about that term before. But she understands the outrage and says clearly there was no racism intended.
“The store owners did the right thing,” said Tomson, “but for those who have dealt with racism their entire lives I understand why they felt the way they did.”
Tomson doesn’t think the costume is in good taste, something that we shouldn’t be encouraging children to wear, “I wouldn’t buy that for my child.”