“We apologise for an evidently poor decision and the injury and hurt that we have caused. If the 3-year-old’s family are still interested in Mr Nilsson then their wishes will of course be met,” Saltkråkan AB said in a statement on Sunday.
The Local reported on Saturday about a request from the parents of a three-year-old boy who died suddenly at the end of last month, to include a picture of Mr Nilsson in their child’s obituary.
The boy’s relatives were however told by Saltkråkan’s representatives that images from “Pippi Longstocking” and other stories by Astrid Lindgren, should only occur in “happy contexts” directly related to the stories themselves.
One of the Saltkråkan representatives, Lindgren’s granddaughter Malin Billing, defended the decision at the time, saying that it was taken in accordance with the late Swedish children’s author’s own wishes.
“The images belong to the stories about Pippi and not to any other stories,” Billing told the Aftonbladet daily on Saturday.
“We try to keep to that principle…even when it comes to such distressing things as toddlers’ death notices. Sometimes it is at the cost of very strong feelings, and we are sorry about that.”
But following widespread criticism and social media debate on the company’s stance, the decision was taken on Sunday to make an exception to its standard policy.
Saltkråkan’s stated role is to “maintain Astrid Lindgren’s legacy” the firm is named after the fictional Stockholm archipelago island in Astrid Lindgren’s 1968 film “Vi på Saltkråkan” (We on Seacrow Island).