Local business gets heat over name

By Mike Renzella

The Haldimand Press

CALEDONIA—Plant retailer The Princess & The Yard Ape, based in Caledonia, became the focus of national attention on social media and CBC this past weekend due to the racist implications of the term “yard ape”. Online dictionaries define yard ape as an unruly child or as an ethnic slur for a black person.

Business owner Kellie MacMillan stated in a June 10, 2020 Facebook video that she had contacted the police to deal with threats she has received since her business name and address were shared on various online forums in the days prior.

MacMillan stated in this video that she and her husband “were aware that there was a racial, derogatory” definition of the term when they chose the name, but that they “really weren’t concerned because (her husband) is the antithesis of the slur.” MacMillan went on to say that she wouldn’t make excuses or apologies, but that she would change the name because, “I want you to know that I listen, and I care.” The following day, MacMillan flipped her stance and said they would not be changing the name, a decision which was then flipped once more.

The store’s website now reads “Princess & Her Plants”, although the domain name remains the same. The store’s Facebook and Instagram pages are no longer viewable to the public. MacMillan took to her blog to post about the incident.

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