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Entries in T-Shirt (4)

Thursday
Oct182012

Gap Pulls 'Manifest Destiny' T-Shirt from Shelves After Social Media Outcry

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gap has pulled from its shelves a black and white T-shirt printed with "Manifest Destiny" across the chest, after backlash from consumers who say the slogan is racist toward Native Americans.

When the item first went on sale about a month ago as part of Gap's GQ collection, people quickly took to social media, expressing their outrage. In addition to Facebook messages and plenty of email, Change.org created a petition amassing more than 5,000 followers.

"This article of clothing promotes a belief that has resulted in the mass genocide of indigenous people, and it serves to normalize oppression," the petition read. "This shirt is marketed to teens and young adults, and it gives no context for the racism and inequality that persists in our society, to this day, as a result of this doctrine. We are asking that this shirt be discontinued, and that an apology be issued."

The "Manifest Destiny" phrase was first used by newspaper editor John O'Sullivan in 1845 to justify U.S. expansion into the West during the 19th century amid the Second Great Awakening when many settlers believed God had blessed their expansion over the whole nation. "That claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us," he wrote.

A Native American activist, Renee Roman Nose, sent a letter to Gap, which was also published in Indian Country Today, explaining her distaste for the shirt. "Manifest Destiny was the catchphrase which led to the genocide of millions of my people, millions of Indigenous people throughout this country," Nose wrote. "I am also inviting the more than 1,700 people on my Facebook page to boycott your stores and inviting them to shop with their conscience."

The shirt's designer, the iconic fashion designer Mark McNairy, took to Twitter to, at first, boast about the slogan. "MANIFEST DESTINY. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST," he wrote, then later deleted.

He followed up Oct. 15 with another tweet personally apologizing for his dismissal of what many believe to be a dark time in American history. "I AM SORRY FOR MY SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST COMMENT. IT HURT ME DEEPLY TO BE CALLED A RACIST AS THAT IS NOT ME. I REACTED WITHOUT THINKING," he tweeted in all caps.

Gap issued a statement Tuesday, one day after McNairy's tweet, in response to the backlash. "Thank you for your feedback regarding the 'Manifest Destiny' t-shirt," the company said. "Based on customer feedback, we will no longer offer the t-shirt in our stores or online."

Gap isn't the only corporate company to encounter a backlash for a phrase emblazoned on the chest of a T-shirt. Nike was in hot water this summer for a women's Olympic-themed shirt it released with the phrase "Gold Digger" on it. The product was, according to the company, intended to reference aspirations to win an Olympic gold medal, but Facebook and Twitter users begged to differ.

"Sort of undermines the strong woman image Nike has spent $$ to market," one tweeter wrote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug152012

Nike T-Shirt Stirs Controversy

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nike is in hot water over a new Olympics t-shirt they’ve released, especially since it’s only being offered for women.

The plain black shirt boldly states “Gold Digger” across the chest. The product was intended to reference aspiring to win an Olympic gold medal, but some Facebook and Twitter users would beg to differ.

“Sort of undermines the strong woman image Nike has spent $$ to market,” said one Twitter user.

“Whoever thought a Nike t’shirt emblazoned with ‘GOLD DIGGING’ was a fitting tribute to female Olympians shuld be fired,” said another.

Even the product description on WorldSoccerShop.com acknowledges the underlying tone behind the slogan. “We aren’t saying they’re gold diggers – we’re just saying they’re out for the gold! What’s wrong with that?”

Nike has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug312011

JCPenney Pulls Controversial Girls' T-Shirt

Scott Olson/Getty Images(PLANO, Texas) -- JCPenney has pulled a shirt from its website that consumers declared “sexist.” The girls’ top reads: "I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me."

“We’ve immediately discontinued sales of that T-shirt. It was only online,” Ann Marie Bishop, a spokeswoman for JCPenney, told ABC News. “We agreed that the shirt does not deliver an appropriate message.”

The shirt was being marketed to girls between the ages of 7 and 16, for the price of $9.99. A caption next to photos of the shirt read: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.”

Soon after the shirt went online, outraged customers began making noise, and the online petition website Change.org put up a notice with the message: “Stop selling clothing with sexist messages for girls.”

As of midday Wednesday, more than 1,600  people had signed a petition addressed to JCPenney Chairman and CEO Mike Ulman III: “Under the guise of being ‘cute,’ J.C. Penney is promoting merchandise that encourages girls to value looks over brains; to leave academics to the boys, and to aspire to nothing more than fawning after Justin Bieber,” it read.

Those who signed the petition renounced the “too pretty to do homework” message and pledged not to shop at JCPenney.

JCPenney said it did not know how many of the “too pretty to do homework” shirts had been sold.

“We want to apologize to our customers,” Bishop said. “We’re reaching out to our customers who are unhappy to apologize and to let them know that the T-shirt is no longer available.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May022011

'Obama Got Osama': T-Shirts Commemorate Osama Bin Laden Death

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Looking for ways to commemorate the death of one of the world’s most wanted terrorists?  Some enterprising businessmen hope so.

Dozens of specialty T-shirts celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden have begun appearing for sale online and on U.S. street corners less than 12 hours after news broke.

“Hot off the press! Get your shirts here, guys,” one vendor yelled from a park outside the White House in Washington, D.C.  His “Obama Got Osama” screen print shirts were selling at $10 apiece.

“It took Obama to catch Osama,” the shirt reads, above a caricature of Obama scouting a robbed bin Laden with his hands raised inside a cave. “1,461 day of Obama term as president,” it says.  

Other designs found online include a silhouette face of bin Laden with such slogans as “Osama got Obama’d” and “Rest in Piss.”  Another features bin Laden’s likeness with the line “Rest in Pieces.” 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio