Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityBrands start dropping hatWRKS after controversy, store posts apology to Instagram | WZTV
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Brands start dropping hatWRKS after controversy, store posts apology to Instagram

Protests are held outside hatWRKS on Saturday (WZTV){br}
Protests are held outside hatWRKS on Saturday (WZTV)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Stetson and other brands are dropping hatWRKS, a Nashville hat store under fire for selling Star of David patches with the phrase “Not Vaccinated.”

People protested outside hatWRKS in Edgehill Saturday, saying using the Star of David was deeply offensive to the 6 million Holocaust victims.

Nazis forced Jews to wear Star of David badges to identify themselves during World War II.

“As an American, I am outraged,” protestor Kevin McGurk said Saturday. “I’m offended, and I have to stand here in protest.”

Protestors said they wanted to stand up to hate.

“[The owner] using that symbol to sell [the patches] – I believe the original post said she was selling them for $5 – it just feels really disrespectful to me,” protester Daniel Grove said.

FOX17 reporter Rachel Tiede visited hatWRKS Friday to ask the owner, Gigi Gaskins, if she wanted to be interviewed. She said she wouldn’t talk to Tiede.

Saturday, Tiede tried to visit the store again to see if Gaskins had a response to the protest outside her building. The building was closed. Tiede tried messaging hatWRKS on Instagram. A message appeared saying the page couldn’t accept our message. Tiede then tried calling. The voicemail box was full. Finally, Tiede emailed, which went through.

Then, a couple hours later, hatWRKS posted an apology on its Instagram page, saying:

in NO WAY did i intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. that is not who i am & what i stand for. my intent was not to exploit or make a profit. my hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that i can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. i sincerely apologize for any insensitivity. [sic]

Stetson – a Westernwear brand – announced it was cutting dies with hatWRKS Saturday.

Others followed suit, like Tula Hats, Kangol Headwear, and others.

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FOX 17 News reached out to Nashville Mayor John Cooper. His office declined to comment.

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