Three daughters who recently lost their mother to cancer say they were kicked out of the King of Prussia Mall outside of Philadelphia for sporting a unique tribute to her. Two of the women were wearing black-and-pink hats designed by a family friend that read “F – – K CANCER” with the C in the naughty word replaced by a pink breast-cancer-awareness ribbon. They claim that on Sunday, a security guard told them they had to take of their hats, or leave the mall.
The women tell the Daily News they were shopping for a dress for one of their daughters to wear at the mom’s funeral, and two of them stopped with a group of friends to grab a bite in the food court.
That’s when, the group says, a security guard approached them and told them to take their hats off. One of the women did, but another works at the mall and told the guard he’d have to put something in writing.
“He said, ‘Since you don’t want to take your hat off, you can leave my mall,’ ” one of the women says. “He stood there while we ate and threatened to call the cops.”
According to the women, several more security guards showed up, and escorted the group from the food court to a security office, where they were met by a police officer who had been called by the guards. The women say he told them it was offensive that they were wearing the hats, and allegedly added, “It’s their mall, they want you out, you have to get out.”
Since the story hit the news, the King of Prussia Mall is now apologizing for the whole ordeal.
A spokesman for the property group that owns the mall reportedly called one of the daughters to apologize, asked for their mother’s name and about her battle with cancer.
“Certainly this could have been handled in a much more empathic and sensitive manner,” the spokesman told media. “We’re very sorry about her loss and wanted to apologize for the way her party was treated.”
He added that the mall should be flexible in times like this.
“I do think this is an entirely different situation than a 16-year-old kid with a swear word on his T-shirt cruising the mall,” he said. “We need to be empathic, sympathetic, and listen and make sure that we’re approaching each situation as it comes up.”
While the women had planned a protest at the mall tomorrow night, they now say the event will still go on, complete with controversial clothing on display, but instead it will be an awareness rally against cancer.
Did cancer hats go too far? [Daily News]