The term “Karen” has exploded in popularity over the last few months, as it’s been used to label entitled white people who complain over small inconveniences or are absurdly racist. So in honor of this spooky season, an artist decided to sell a “Karen” Halloween mask.
And the mask also, unsurprisingly, exploded in popularity. The artist behind the mask, Jason Adcock, is now overwhelmed with orders, as well as complaints.
He is calling the now-sold out mask “KAREN-19,” a play on the name for the novel coronavirus that continues to ravage the world and has killed almost 200,000 people. Many of the “Karen videos” that go viral feature women (and men) throwing tantrums over mask mandates in different states.
In an interview with Business Insider, Adcock said, “I was starting on this year’s Halloween projects and kept seeing ‘Karens’ pop up in my news feed and thought, ‘Damn this is the real monster of 2020.’”
But once the mask started to become popular, more and more people began to take offense to it. “Why don’t you make one as a black woman or are you too much of a liberal pussy to do that? GFY,” a Facebook user named James A Kelly wrote in a comment on Adcock’s Facebook post.
Adcock also posted a screenshot of the comment someone made when they reported his product on Etsy. The person wrote, “Really? Disgusted that you are attempting to make money from the name Karen. I can’t believe how horrible these are. At least change the name. The Karens I know are nothing like this.”
Some women with the name Karen are offended by the use of their name. “My name is Karen and I’ve been Karen my whole life. I look nothing like this and it’s offensive!… The use of the name Karen is repulsive and offensive in this way,” another Etsy shopper wrote when also reporting the product.
Adcock makes all the masks himself and said it would take weeks to catch up to all the orders that were placed. Each mask costs $180.
Moises Mendez II is a recent graduate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. He is a freelance journalist based in New York City writing about everything from music to LGBTQ issues.