By Phyllis Lee
Following an intense bout of online criticism, the controversial Halloween display of a long-haired mannequin in a blood-soaked gown hanging from a tree at *SCAPE has been taken down.
The display first surfaced on the Internet last Friday (Sept 22), when an Instagram user posted a photo of the female doll with the caption: “Someone got hung on this Friday morning.”
This matter escalated when Facebook group Singaporeans Defending Marriage and Family condemned the Halloween display in a post, stating it was “extremely disturbing, done in very bad taste and traumatising to children”.
“In view of the rising suicide rate and prevalence of suicidal thoughts among young people, the image of a person who appears to have hanged herself being used to promote fun Halloween activities would surely trivialise the issue of suicide among young people,” the post said, adding that the display may even encourage youths to attempt suicide to escape their troubles during this stressful examination period.
The post then urged people to write in to Minister Chan Chun Sing and National Youth Council Chief Executive Officer David Chua, who is also the chairman on the board of directors for *SCAPE.
Netizens flamed the display and called it distasteful.
In an email response to Channel NewsAsia, *SCAPE said that the mannequin was installed as part of the Museum of Horror’s publicity efforts.
“We have received feedback about the mannequin, and after reviewing internally, we informed the vendor to have it removed from the open public area. We hope that the youths will still have an enjoyable Halloween experience at the Museum of Horrors,” it said.
Ironically, after the doll was removed, netizens stepped up to say that the display could have been used as an educational platform for youths instead.
Others said that the whole issue was blown out of proportion.
A similar incident took place last month, when Resorts World Sentosa erected memorial walls for the ‘victims’ of a fake mall collapse as part of promotions for its Halloween Horror Nights event.