12.10.2008

Oh No They Didn't



Urban Outfitters pulled the t-shirt above from stores last week. Check out this article, and this one too if you're interested. How is it that supporting an oppressed group's human rights could be even slightly offensive? And it's not a little bit ironic that they would be so bigoted and discriminatory and yet have the chutzpah to carry the following:



and this, which is offensive in its own right, perhaps:





and the kicker, a call to end oppression of another sort (the struggles of all people for rights are not equal, silly):





It's interesting to contemplate the impact of the political leanings corporate giants. Years ago, Michael Jordan quipped "Republicans buy sneakers, too" in defense of his lack of endorsement of an African American mayor's bid for a seat in the Senate. This dude Hayne, U.O. owner, is a major Republic/right-wing supporter. You know, I don't have as much of a problem with his political affiliation (though I do have a problem with it, to be fair) than I do with the fact that he was too cowardly to come out and say why he pulled the shirts. One buyer, as the first article points out, claimed that the shirt was pulled because of "bad press--"an excuse for which there is absolutely zero evidence. What a crappy excuse. My 8th graders are more persuasive. Way more.

I'm not saying everyone has to be Dov Charney--far from it, indeed, for dude and company come with their own set of issues--but at least give real reasons for your actions. He admits to using sex and sexual images as selling points and doesn't make any apologies. If your company is going to pull shirts that support same-sex marriage, why not just say it's because you don't support same-sex marriage? I'd rather buy from a company belonging to an honest if bigoted owner than one who hides behind his decisions and refuses to be accountable for them. Come to think of it, I don't want to buy from either. So I don't think I will. Not that my lack of patronage will send U.O. into a tailspin only to be saved by the socialism-is-only-for-the-rich government. Since we can't regulate ignorance and hatred, I suppose I will just have to regulate where my paycheck goes. . .

Too bad, too. Perhaps those shirts could have helped U.O. seem like less of a horrendously trendy mess.

This quote from the New York Magazine article is priceless:
"When a right-wing Republican is the one concocting your anti-Establishment image, you start to wonder if the entire hipster movement has been duped into becoming puppets of Hayne's billionaire income."

6 comments:

Mary Lee said...

Great quote from New York Magazine. Pathetic move by Urban Outfitters.

enc said...

Well, apparently, they did.

Did you know that U.O. and Anthropologie are under the same umbrella?

teach people not books said...

mary lee--way pathetic.

enc--i did know that! i just discovered it yesterday, actually. . . do they have some evil plot to take over the world? back i run to the banana/gap/o.n. empire. . .

Rastamick61 said...

nobody ever confused courage with capitalism especially in this century -- doubtless someone is afraid of boycott rumblings from the looney christian right. you know those loving, forgiving, caring people... Nice work on this post,

teach people not books said...

yeah, it's funny that they care so much about legislating what others can and cannot do in their bedrooms, yet can't seem to keep one another from public bathroom stalls, call girls and such devilish.

Meg said...

I've always thought political statement tees sort of a pointless way of trying to prove something without doing anything (Save Darfur anyone?), but this definately gives me laughing rights when I see someone wearing an UO slogan tee.
While NYMag drives me crazy with their silliness sometimes, they are right on with this issue.