A customer at a Raleigh credit union says she was offended by "a black doll with a noose around its neck and hands tied behind its back" on an employee's desk. It turns out the doll is a figurine depicting a character from the zombie-themed television show "The Walking Dead."
Stacey Smith posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon that she was upset by the doll at a branch of the State Employees' Credit Union on Louisburg Road and also the bank employee's response when she asked about it The post had been shared more than 7,200 times by Wednesday evening.
The figurine depicts one of Michonne's "pet" walkers on the show, which is adapted from a comic book series by the same name. Michonne is a popular African-American female character who travels with "pet" walkers — zombies with no arms or jaws that transfer their scent to her so she does not attract attention from other zombies. The walkers have chains around their necks.
The figurines, or at least similar ones, are available on Amazon.
Smith wrote on Facebook that the credit union employee told her he collects the figurines. When she told him it was "very offensive," she wrote, the employee asked her in what way.
"Right then I walked out of his office and went straight to the receptionist and asked for his boss!" she wrote.
The credit union issued a statement about the incident, according to ABC11.
"State Employees' Credit Union prides itself on the fair and equitable treatment it provides its members and takes its members' privacy seriously. Yesterday, the actions of one of our employees fell far short of our expectations and we took immediate steps to address this personnel matter."
It is unclear whether the employee faces disciplinary action.
"We are responding to all calls and inquiries whether that be from customers or the public," Leigh Brady, SECU's executive vice president of organizational development, reportedly said.
Many people who have commented on Smith's Facebook post shared her outrage and praised her for asking to speak with a bank manager.
"Let me get this straight ... he really did not think there was anything wrong with publicly displaying that?!?" one person wrote, adding the hashtag #specialkindofstupid.
Another commenter wrote: "I'm just saying there are better ways to show your love for The Walking Dead. He has shown poor judgement and I would not feel very comfortable with him overlooking my finances."
Some said the fact that the doll is a fictional character did not make it OK to display at a business.
"His buddy said it was a doll from a popular tv show!! Thats dumb as hell to think that it wouldn’t be offensive to any black person!!!" one commenter wrote.