The co-director of a New York City art studio whose Halloween decorations in a window of her home drew claims of racism has resigned from her post following a public protest.
Dany Rose resigned Friday from ArtShack Brooklyn. Rose apologized earlier this week for the display that featured cutouts of brown paper dolls that appeared to be hanging by their necks from strings. The display, which has been taken down, prompted a community protest Thursday night.
"I recently displayed some homemade Halloween paper dolls in the window of my home," Rose said in a statement posted on the ArtShack Facebook page Wednesday. "The images were based on the horror movie Annabelle, but because they were made of brown kraft paper and hanging from nooses, they were deeply racially offensive."
"No one should have had to point out this obvious fact to me, and I immediately removed the figures when I was contacted by a parent from P.S. 11, across the street from my home," the statement continued. "I understand that ignorance is no excuse and apologies are not enough, but nonetheless I want to apologize sincerely to my neighbors and community."
Rose's apology came a day after President Donald Trump compared his possible impeachment to a lynching.
City Council member Laurie Cumbo, who helped organize Thursday's protest, was among those to condemn the decorations.
"As a supporter of the arts, I am saddened and outraged at the display of Halloween decorations in Clinton Hill earlier this week that crossed the boundaries of art and expression, and dredged up an ugly history of racism, hatred, and terror in black communities," Cumbo wrote on her Instagram account ahead of the protest. "We cannot stay silent."
Cumbo called for "culturally competent education for community members around Halloween and beyond," on Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon, ArtShack Brooklyn addressed the display ahead of the protests.
"We understand that one of our co-founder has caused harm to our community and we are in the process of planning a community meeting to provide space for people to share the impact on themselves and to build a path toward accountability," the studio said in a statement. "We do not tolerate racism. We stand for inclusivity, love, acceptance and tolerance for all. We believe in a restorative process that accounts for both harm and forgiveness."
Cumbo said an apology was not enough.
“I’m no longer accepting sorry. We’re not accepting apologies. We’re not accepting I’m sorry," she said Thursday. "We’re not accepting it was a stupid mistake. We’re not accepting I didn’t know any better. We’re not accepting that anymore. Enough is enough. Enough is enough. You’re not going to continue to disrespect my community and my people with stories about I didn’t know any better.”
In a statement announcing Rose's resignation Friday, Artshack Brooklyn said it will host a community meeting and is "working hard on a path toward accountability."