The owner of one of the state's largest Halloween attractions, located west of Chaska, apologized Tuesday for a post he wrote singling out Somali customers.
The note was posted by Scream Town owner Matt Dunn in a private Facebook group for actors and told employees of the company’s “no tolerance policy” with Somalis. Later, an apology was posted on Scream Town’s Facebook page.
“Scream Town welcomes ALL people to our event. We love our guests and we love our fans. Safety and security for our actors and guests is our top priority,” the apology stated.
“We apologize for any posts that were generalizing. That was not our intent. We had an incident with a select group of about 8-10 individuals last Saturday night that had been at our event earlier this year. They were removed from the event due to their actions. Our post was regarding these 8-10 people who were disrupting other guests and staff. We are deeply sorry how the message was written. We love our Somali customers. They have been long time fans of our show. All are welcome and we thank you for your business.”
The story garnered media attention from across the state and Scream Town received a backlash of comments condemning the owner’s actions.
The now-deleted original post by Dunn, still circulating on Facebook, said signs had been added to the ticket booth warning customers that Scream Town is a “no tolerance” event and they could be removed without refund for disorderly conduct, including entering the wrong waiting line, improper hand stamps, attempting to use a ticket twice and touching actors and props, according to photos of the post.
“Note that we are having a zero tolerance policy with Somalis. (Other guests, you make your best judgement call) But absolutely zero tolerance with Somalis. Your diligence in this matter is crucial,” the post stated. “If they violate ANY of the following, they need to be followed reported, and stayed with until Scream Town staff/security arrives.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota is calling for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to investigate the case, according to CAIR-Minnesota’s Facebook page.