According to a report from the Associated Press, Disney has dropped an effort to trademark “Dia de los Muertos,” the name of the traditional “Day of the Dead” holiday celebrated by millions in Mexico and the U.S.
The company announced Tuesday that it was withdrawing a trademark request it made on May 1 to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The application prompted online criticism and petitions.
“What were they thinking?” Genevieve Barrios Southgate, director of community programs at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, told the Orange County Register.
“Disney obviously responded to public pressure,” she said. “I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have culturally sensitive people as your advisers.”
Many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans observe the November holiday, which honors deceased relatives and loved ones. Traditions include cleaning and decorating graves, leaving gift offerings for the dead and building elaborate shrines decorated with sugar skulls and marigolds.
Disney Enterprises Inc. hoped to secure name rights for merchandise such as snack foods and Christmas ornaments as it partners with Pixar Animation Studios Inc. to create an animated movie inspired by the holiday.