The head of the Georgia-based company that makes Tiki torches says he was offended by images of white supremacists marching through Charlottesville, Virginia, using his company's products.
W.C. Bradley Co. President and CEO Marc Olivie said on Tuesday he has special reason to feel deeply offended.
“Obviously, we cannot control the way people use our torches, but the fact the people who promote bigotry and promote hatred are using these torches was really shocking to me,” he said.
Many of the protesters who marched Friday carried Tiki torches.
The Tiki brand is a product of Lamplight, a Wisconsin company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bradley company.
Lamplight, in a Facebook post Saturday, said, in part, "TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and (we) are deeply saddened and disappointed."
Olivie said the torches are a shining light symbolizing joy, not division and hatred.
“I would hope people would continue to use them for enjoyment and being together with friends and family. And that's the way these products should be used,” he said.
Tiki brand's 70 employees were also upset to see their product used in the controversial march.