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Navy Pier Pulls '50 Shades Of Grey'-Themed Christmas Tree From Winter Wonderfest Display

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 6, 2013 5:15PM

It’s been a good week for public holiday displays in Chicago. First the Freedom From Religion Foundation erects a giant “A” in the middle of the Daley Plaza holiday display. Now Navy Pier had a Christmas tree removed from its kid-friendly Winter Wonderfest exhibit because it contained references to the “erotic” novel Fifty Shades of Grey moments before the exhibit’s Friday opening.

According to DNAInfo Chicago the tree, designed by the firm Ivan Carlson, was festooned with paint chips in varying shades of gray, gray ornaments numbered one through 50 and handcuffs. Ivan Carlson creative director Gary Jackson said Navy Pier requested the 95 trees in this year’s exhibit have different themes. Most of them are kid-friendly but there are other trees that are tributes to artists Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollack and Piet Mondrian.

Jackson told DNAINfo the “Grey” tree was designed “more toward the adults, thinking the children would never figure it out.” Navy Pier spokeswoman Suzi Groetsema told DNAInfo when officials realized the tree’s theme they had it removed. (There's no word on where Navy Pier told them to stick the tree but one can assume it's in line with the plot from Grey.)

Now Ivan Carlson has the type of publicity money can't buy. Thankfully Ivan Carlson decided to stop with the paint chips and handcuffs. We shudder to think of what a talking “Fifty Shades of Grey” Christmas tree would sound like.

Oh, wait.