Some people weren’t happy about this Primark T-shirt. (Photo: Twitter/DaAmazinFatB0y)[/caption]From empowering statements to iconic TV and film quotes, slogan T-shirts have become a style staple of late. But Primark has been forced to remove one of its own tees from shelves after some called it “fantastically offensive.”
Some people weren’t happy about this Primark T-shirt. (Photo: Twitter/DaAmazinFatB0y)More
The top, emblazoned with a bloodied baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire and the words “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe,” received complaints from some shoppers, who called out the saying’s racist origins. The phrase and image refer to the fictional character Negan from cult hit show The Walking Dead, who utters the children’s rhyme before attacking his victims with his bat, Lucille.
But Methodist minister Ian Lucraft, who spotted the T-shirt while out shopping with his wife in Sheffield, England, complained because one of the rhyme’s original versions used the N word instead of “catch a tiger by its toe,” as Negan did.
“We were shocked when we came face to face with a new T-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text,” he told the Sheffield Star. “I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages. The slogan is ‘Eenie meenie miny moe…’ It stops there, but of course we all know what the original said.”
The minister went on to say that he believed the bloodied baseball bat image related directly to the assault of black people in America.
“It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer, I would know just where I stood,” he continued.
Following the complaint, a Primark spokesperson apologized for any offense caused and confirmed that the T-shirts had been removed from shelves of its 300 stores. Primark, a Target-like department store, is based in the United Kingdom and is dominant throughout Europe and has two outposts in the United States, in Freehold, N.J. and Boston, Mass. Other shirts with the phrase appear to be available online through other retailers.
“The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show,” the spokesperson told The Star. “Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional, and Primark sincerely apologizes for this. Primark has removed the product from sale.”
But some Walking Dead fans took to social media to express their disappointment that the T-shirt had been removed.
“If you find this t shirt ‘racist’ you’re part of the problem,” one user tweeted.
“Can’t believe the complaint about #thewalkingdead tee in #primark. Absolutely comical statement. That couple should just stay inside,” added another.
“Can’t believe they pulled the shirt. Idiotic PC brigade! Educate yourselves on the show and stop reading racism into everything!” another man tweeted.
This isn’t the first time a chainstore has pulled a slogan T-shirt over racism complaints. Back in 2012 clothing giant Gap removed a black T-shirt with the words “Manifest Destiny” from sale following complaints and a petition from consumers who believed it was racist.
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