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Hanging blackface photo from haunted maze causes stir

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(WMC-TV) - A photo, posted on Instagram late Friday night, is causing a stir on social media.

The Mid-South Maze has been in the Memphis area for 13 years, but a photo taken at the maze is causing many residents to speak out. They are classifying the image as offensive and controversial.

"The issue is you have a Caucasian man with a young boy, not even an African American boy, but a young boy with black face. [It's] almost like minstrel times just hanging from a noose. It's something that shouldn't be tolerated," stated concerned visitor Timothy Moore.

Mid-South Maze owner, Chris Taylor, said this is the first he has ever heard of the possible controversy.

"It's a medieval scene out in a corn maze. There's a little bit of black makeup on his face. He sometimes wears a mask, but it's more camouflage," said Taylor.

Taylor continued to explain how the young man at the noose has been working at the maze for over eight years. He said the image was never intended to offend, it was only supposed to be for fun.

"It's more of an interactive scene where, you see an executioner up there, he's getting the crowd riled up and then he does a fake hanging. Yea, sometimes you get to jump back out there and scare them," continued Taylor.

Moore agreed the scene was definitely scary. However, he fails to see the humor in the matter.

"I've had relatives that were lynched and my great grandmother was a slave. So, to see something that depicts slavery and not only slavery but the ugly side where lynches occurred, it was so insensitive to the African American community," said Moore.

Taylor has no plans to make any changes to the maze and believes the entire incident has been blown out of proportion because of social media. He said  Action News 5 was the first to contact him about the possibly offensive scene.

In the meantime, Moore hopes more people will speak out against the scene and try to get it removed.

Click here to visit the MidSouth Maze website: http://www.midsouthmaze.com/

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