Home Depot says it will pull the Scary Peeper Creeper from its shelves after a woman who saw the Halloween window decoration in a Markham, Ont., store complained it makes light of predatory behaviour against women.
Equipped with suction cups for mounting outside a window, the decoration costs $29 and features the full-sized head, face and hands of a creepy-looking, hooded man peering into a window. The decoration is made to look life-like, not cartoonish.
The intention is to scare anyone opening the blinds from inside the house on a dark night. A description on Home Depot’s website says the Scary Peeper Creeper is “perfect for scaring friends and family during Halloween or any other time of the year.”
A manufacturer’s website of what appears to be the same product (referred to as just Scary Peeper) features a video that shows how the decoration can be used as a prank to scare someone.
A woman opens the blinds and is shocked to find the Creeper staring back at her.
“That’s fantastic,” a man says. “No, that’s scary,” the woman replies.
Makes light of a ‘serious crime’
After spotting the decoration in the store, Breanne Hunt-Wells contacted CBC News to complain, saying the Creeper is “inappropriate and makes light of a real-life, sinister issue that women face in our society.”
“I fail to see the humour in it,” Hunt-Wells said in an interview on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning show today. “It makes light of a very serious crime. Voyeurism is a crime in Canada.”
Hunt-Wells, a teacher and mother of two, said she has researched the issue since discovering the decoration, and said voyeurism can often escalate into sexual assaults, including rape. “This is not a harmless crime,” she said.
CBC raised the issue with Home Depot over the weekend and the store agreed it wasn’t appropriate.
“We agree that this is not in line with our core values, and when we heard, took immediate action and are currently in the process of removing this product from our assortment,” said Home Depot spokeswoman Emily DiCarlo
“We’ve reached out to advise the customer of our actions and apologize. We’re sorry for any offence that was caused.”
Woman applauds Home Depot’s decision
Hunt-Wells says Home Depot made the right decision, but the Scary Peeper Creeper should never have appeared on store shelves.
“I’m glad to see that Home Depot is responsive to change based on customer feedback,” she said.
Hunt-Wells also said the decoration shouldn’t be dismissed as a gag that’s in keeping with typical Halloween fun.
“I would say to people that say ‘it’s just a joke’ there are a lot of things in our society that have been just a joke over time,” she said. “Racial jokes, cultural jokes. It takes some talking and thinking to realize that maybe we need to be more sensitive. The people that commit this crime are not harmless people.”