The Conservative Political Action Conference took place last week in Orlando, Florida and while it was an enjoyable event to attend, especially since I was a speaker on the main stage, there was controversy sparked online after some began to claim the stage looked like a Nazi symbol.
While absurd on its face, the unhinged theory gained a lot of traction, claiming CPAC had purposely set up a racist dog whistle. Not only did CPAC deny it intended to have a racist symbol, but it had also contracted an outside designer who set it up for them.
The firm, Design Foundry, has taken responsibility for the misstep. On top of the CPAC not being responsible for the design, but the company has done other events for liberals and the owner is a staunch supporter of President Joe Biden.
2. Also worth noting that many of her employees are liberal— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) March 3, 2021
So many of you decided to go after something without any reporting or knowledge about who was responsible for the design
And before you ding her for working for CPAC, you try having an events business during a pandemic
Wow. Pete Buttigieg’s PAC paid over $35,000 to that company that designed the “Nazi” stage at CPAC. The DCCC also used their services. pic.twitter.com/3bLGxDzyiO— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) March 3, 2021
Last tweet before I mute this trash fire: Design Foundry is a well-known firm with top tier clients. The chances that they'd intentionally incinerate their business *during a pandemic* by modeling a stage design after a Nazi symbol are pretty much zero.— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) March 3, 2021
Design Foundry said it "had no idea that the design resembled any symbol, nor was there any intention to create something that did" and the stage setup was "intended to provide the best use of space, given the constraints of the ballroom and social distancing requirements," in a statement to the Forward.
The terms of the contract showed that while CPAC had approved the design, they had no rights to change or dismantle the stage.
"ACU and CPAC have no interest in promoting antisemitism from our stage, whether it’s what happens on the stage or the design of the stage itself," Ian Walters, director of communications for the ACU and CPAC, told the Forward. "It’s clear that the company we retained designed a stage that has become an unwelcome distraction. As a result, we will not be using that company’s services going forward at future events."