Halloween seems to bring out the inner bigot in fashion designers, football coaches, and Hollywood C-listers. Apparently it has the same effect on technology corporations as well. Google some version of "Halloween costumes for interracial couples" and this incredibly offensive eBay page with two people in blackface will pop up near the top.
Although the stupefyingly racist main image stays the same, there were two different versions of the copy below. Both have since been removed. One said:
Are you on the hunt for Halloween costumes for interracial couples ideas? If you have an interest in history, you have a few famous choices that have deep emotional backgrounds, like Frederick Douglass and his wife Helen Pitts. Why not be Othello and his wife Desdemona from Shakespeare's famous play? Or pick your favorite celebrity couple for something more light-hearted. Once you decide, you can find your costumes right here on eBay.
The other went the pop culture route:
It might seem difficult to find Halloween costumes for interracial couples. On eBay, you will find costumes for your exact needs. Just browse the site and you will find thousands of costumes and outfits that fit every use or need. You can go as Kayne and Kim or Eve and Max. You can celebrate being unique or you can find accessories and costumes that make you totally disguised. Browse to find just the perfect look.
The image can be found in AP's photo database labeled as "Dutch Black Petes with White Board." Tensions are rising even within the Netherlands over the custom of white people dressing up as "Zwarte Piet" or Black Pete for Christmas. Regardless, the image has absolutely nothing to do with the Halloween suggestions below.
The copy on the eBay page seems to be written from the perspective of someone who works at the company, as do the related pages on the side. The root of the URL where the pages are located takes you to eBay's categories page. In response to questions from Valleywag, eBay offered the following statement:
We sincerely apologize that offensive Halloween-related content appeared on our site. eBay does not allow content that promotes intolerance of any type, including hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious. Content on Halloween costumes for interracial couples was inappropriate and in violation of our policy. The content has been removed from our site. We are currently reviewing how this material was not adequately reviewed. We rigorously examine all content on our site to ensure compliance to our policies. We deeply regret that we did not achieve this outcome in this case.
Meanwhile, if you're still picking out a costume for tonight, here's a good rule to live by.