The company that was hired to set up the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida last weekend has taken full responsibility for the design of the stage. Social media activists slammed CPAC claiming the stage resembled a Nazi insignia.
Design Foundry told the Forward that the stage design firm based in Hyattsville, Maryland, "had no idea that the design resembled any symbol, nor was there any intention to create something that did."
Hotels and conference centers frequently contract with vendors for event equipment, especially when organizing large events with hundreds of guests, but that did not stop leftist activists from comparing images of the CPAC main stage to the design of the Odal, also known as Othala Rune, an insignia on some Nazi uniforms.
After the images went viral on social media Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said the comparisons were "outrageous and slanderous" and that the organization had a "long standing commitment to the Jewish community" and that the conference featured multiple Jewish speakers.
CPAC has said they will not use the company for future events and Hyatt Hotels where the conference was held released a statement which said the company had addressed the concerns with the event organizers and called the use of such symbols as "abhorrent."
Yashar Ali, New York Magazine and Huffington Post Contributor wrote on Twitter, "I know Design Foundry because they handle design for many events in DC for companies like MSNBC & Target. They oversaw the design for the Biden Cancer Summit in 2018. The owner, Annie, is very liberal and was so excited for Biden’s victory. Great work conspiracy theorists."
According to the terms of the contract signed with Design Foundry obtained by the Forward, the American Conservative Union(ACU) approved the design but was not allowed to change the design or dismantle the stage. According to the Forward, "Design Foundry has worked with CPAC for several years and has provided services to MSNBC and major corporations – including Google, Citibank and Target."
Design Foundry told the Forward that the design was "intended to provide the best use of space, given the constraints of the ballroom and social distancing requirements."
Design Foundry also told the Forward they were "saddened and horrified at the accusations that this was a deliberate act. Design Foundry denounces all hate speech and acts of racism, prejudice, or bigotry in all forms."
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