NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The owner of a Nashville hat store issued an apology following a controversial post on Instagram.
Gigi Gaskins, owner of hatWRKS, posted a picture on Friday of herself wearing a yellow patch resembling the Star of David that read the words “not vaccinated.” Gaskins is pictured smiling and wearing the star on her chest.
The caption said the stars were for sale and cost $5. The post was later deleted from the account after several commented that it was offensive to compare the Holocaust to mask mandates for unvaccinated people.
Following the post, protestors surrounded the store on Saturday holding signs of disapproval. Well-known haberdashery companies also reacted. Stetson—a company that sells hats, boots, western apparel, eyewear, and fragrances—made a public comment about the incident on Twitter. In a follow-up on Saturday, Stetson made the announcement they and their distribution partners will be ending the sale of all Stetson products with the store.
Goorin Bros., a global hat brand since 1895, also responded on social media:
In an update, the company tweeted they did not condone the views of the store owner and stated they are investigating what actions need to be taken.
Gaskins posted an apology to Instagram Saturday. The post included the following message, “In NO WAY did I intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. That is not who I am & what I stand for. My intent was not to exploit or make a profit. My hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that I can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. I sincerely apologize for any insensitivity.”