Mannequins in fishnet stockings, sexy lingerie and bunny ears on colorful wigs while holding Easter baskets on the front lawn of a Clifton dentist’s office are getting mixed reviews by neighbors and passersby.
The five mannequins, which neighbors said first appeared on the grass lawn in front of Dentist Wayne Gangi’s Grove Street office as part of a Valentine’s Day display, soon returned dressed in green for St. Patrick’s Day. With a wardrobe change and the addition of the Easter-egg colored wigs and bunny ears, the mannequins have returned to celebrate Easter.
Posed in standing positions with the help of metal stands and black rods, the mannequins have earned the dentist the nickname of “Hugh Hefner” – the Playboy founder often photographed with Playboy Bunnies.
Four of the white mannequins have bunny ears set atop bright blue, green, red and yellow wigs, while one has Micky Mouse-like ears on top of a bright purple wig. Clad in black or pink fur-trimmed outfits and fishnet stockings, each mannequin is posed with an outstretched arm holding an Easter basket filled with colorful eggs. They are surrounded by more Easter eggs and one black spider in a web.
Hundreds of comments, ranging from anger to humor to disgust, were posted in reaction to a photo of the display on a Facebook Clifton community page.
“Proves he has ZERO respect for women and the young girls of our town,” one woman posted. “Would anybody buy a house next door to this?” wrote another. Several posted that the display was funny. “It’s meant to b a joke wat a bunch of cry babies they have clothes on there not naked smh [sic].”
Several asked about the black spider while many asked about the location so they could go drive by.
Gangi’s office at the corner of Grove Street and Robin Hood Road is no stranger to holiday decoration controversy. In the past, his elaborate Halloween and Christmas decorations have drawn criticism as well as lots of visitors and praise.
In 2012, the dentist’s display of bloody corpses, skeletons and furry spiders that covered his building and property at 562 Grove St., attracted lots of visitors as well as a parking-ticket blitz as Clifton police cracked down on what they called traffic hazards. Gangi was not happy and threatened to put an end to the decorations. His displays continue.
Gangi did not wish to comment, according to an office employee who would not give her name. She said the display was put up “in fun.”
Clifton resident Gina Scaduto-Zhitnick called the display “gross.”
“I’m glad I don’t live there,” she said, referring to the dentist’s decorating style.
Councilman William Gibson, when asked if he has received complaints from residents, said: “Oh yes!”
Gangi, Gibson said, “definitely knows he’s walking the edge.” He said the display is “in poor taste.” The councilman said the Halloween displays have also been “over the top” and asked why a professional dentist would create such a display. He said if he had young children he would not bring them to Dr. Gangi. His wife Robin Gibson agreed and said not all reactions have been negative.
“Some people are finding it very inappropriate; others are finding it hilarious,” she said.
Councilwoman Lauren Murphy said she has not heard any complaints.
“Lots of people are saying everyone should mind their own business and if they don’t like it should drive a different way,” Murphy said.
Councilman Peter Eagler said responses he’s heard have been split concerning the taste of the display, but added that it seems well within Gangi’s First Amendment right to have the display.
“He has a display at Halloween. Why should this be different?” Eagler said.
The city’s Mayor James Anzaldi has received several complaints and the police department one made anonymously.
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Sexy mannequin Easter display earns Clifton dentist ‘Hugh Hefner’ nickname and mixed reviews.
Matt Fagan, Staff writer, @fagan_nj
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