April 26, 2012
The Urban Outfitters Holocaust Shirt
Either Urban Outfitters doesn’t have an adequate PR budget or their attempt at “edginess” needs some retooling, because they are in the news again for putting out yet another ethnically offensive t-shirt. This newest affront is a yellow t-shirt with what looks like a six-pointed Jewish star sewn on the chest pocket. As one report puts it, it has “unfortunate overtones of the yellow badge Jewish people were forced to wear under the Nazi regime.” Consequently, Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League have voiced their outrage.
Urban clearly hasn’t learned from the recent St. Patrick’s Day debacle when it sold t-shirts with the slogans like “Irish I Was Drunk” and “Kiss Me, I’m Drunk, or Irish, or Whatever.” Nor has the lawsuit filed earlier this year by the Navajo Nation tribe alleging trademark infringement over, among other things, underwear and flasks with the word “Navajo” on it resulted in more cautious behavior.
The shirt’s designer has put out a statement saying that they were, in fact, aware of what the final “patchwork” resembled on a prototype and therefore removed it completely from the shirts that actually shipped. But at least they're spreading the offence around - perhaps come the fall collections, they'll find the time to upset Mexicans, Asians and African-Americans.