A Wisconsin man has lost his job at the Madison Children's Museum over his choice of Halloween costume. Per a Monday statement from the museum, the unidentified employee was spotted Saturday night wandering around the city's downtown "dressed and otherwise [portraying] himself as Hitler." Madison.com reports the man's costume made headlines on social media and in the news, including in the Jerusalem Post, which made mention of the man, along with a different individual who dressed up in a Nazi uniform and showed up at a Manhattan bar on Saturday.
The children's museum soon got wind that the man in downtown Madison was one of its own employees, a longtime worker who has cognitive disabilities due to a traumatic brain injury. The museum suspended him while it carried out an investigation, noting his choice was "completely unacceptable" and "counter to everything the museum believes." The museum added at the time, "We stand against antisemitism and all forms of bigotry and discrimination." By Tuesday, the museum had determined "his continued employment would create an environment at odds with our values and unwelcoming to visitors and staff."
"His work with the museum over the past 10 years has been closely supervised, coached, and supported," the museum said in its initial statement. "It is our understanding that he believed his costume to be mocking Hitler." It went on to say that the museum still hopes to use a "restorative justice process" with the man "to redress the harm done to the community while allowing him to understand the effects of his actions and accept accountability." The Madison Police Department, while calling the incident "offensive and reprehensible," says it "does not rise to a criminal act," per Channel3000. His mother, meanwhile, is offering her gratitude for how the situation has been handled. "We [ask] for privacy as we work with professionals on this sensitive matter," she tells Madison.com. (Read more Hitler stories.)