Updated July 24, 2019 - 7:22 pm
MGM Resorts International will change some of its security uniforms after an Ohio visitor alerted the company that its logo could be offensive to the Jewish community.
The yellow shirts, which have a six-point star on the upper corner, are one of the uniforms used by MGM’s security team, including some employees at Las Vegas properties. June Scharf, who first noticed the logo at an MGM property in Ohio this month, alerted the company that the logo against a yellow background was evocative of Holocaust imagery.
“It’s a real trigger,” Scharf told the Review-Journal. “You see something like that and you stop in your tracks. … It’s something we directly associate with a time, a place and a tragedy.”
Scharf, who lives in the suburbs of Cleveland, noticed the star-shaped logo when she visited MGM Northfield Park to watch a comedy show July 13. The uniforms have been in use a little more than a year, according to MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong.
“I’m a little surprised I’m the first to notice it,” Scharf said. “I just turned to the people I was with, who happened to be Jewish, and asked, ‘Do you see a problem?’ And they all agreed. Seeing a Jewish star in that context was not right.”
Scharf said she reached out to a local media outlet, the Cleveland Jewish News, after she was unable to leave a voicemail on the Northfield property’s landline. DeShong said the logo was first brought to MGM’s attention by a CJN reporter on Monday.
DeShong said the uniform change will take place companywide, and MGM is still working out details on when the change will take place and how much it will cost the company.
“We appreciate this being brought to our attention,” DeShong said via email. “We regret anyone was offended — it was certainly not our intention. We are committed to ensuring that everyone feels welcome on our properties. Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our company’s values.”
Scharf, who had family die in the Holocaust, said she’s grateful the company is changing the uniforms.
I imagine many people “are not aware of what a six-pointed star, particularly set against a yellow background, represents historically,” Scharf said. “This type of usage is extremely offensive. … Some people on the MGM staff need to become woke to what their design invokes and triggers among those sensitized to history.”
Some law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, use six-point stars in badges. Five- and seven-point stars also are common.