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Friday
Mar022012

Urban Outfitters Under Fire from Congressional Group

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Urban Outfitters is the object of congressional scorn for a line of Irish-themed clothing and accessories with "severe and negative stereotypes," according to a letter sent to the company from 10 members of Congress.

The legislators are part of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and the letter is directed at Urban Outfitters CEO Tedford Marlow.

"We recently learned of images used by Urban Outfitters in its St. Patrick's Day clothing line that depict severe and negative stereotypes of Irish and Irish-American people as well as may promote binge drinking," the letter read. "We strongly urge you to end the sale of these items."

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A search of the word "Irish" on the clothing brand's website turns up 13 products—shirts, beer glasses, shot glasses, a flask and sunglasses shaped as shamrocks and beer glasses. One of the women's tank-tops says, "Irish I Were Drunk" with a shamrock and another t-shirt says, "Kiss Me I'm Drunk, Or Irish, Or Whatever." A hat that shows a stick figure on all fours vomiting says, "Irish Yoga."

"By selling and promoting these items, Urban Outfitters is only fueling stereotypes that many Irish-Americans, as well as the people in Ireland, work so hard to dispel," said Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in a statement.

Crowley spearheaded the letter and got his colleagues on board after hearing that many Irish-Americans were upset by the merchandise. The letter expresses concerns about the items potentially encouraging binge drinking, which they call a "very serious problem affecting many of our nation's young people."

"We strongly urge you to review your St. Patrick's Day clothing line and consider its effects on the 35 million-strong Irish-American community, as well as its implications for binge drinking," the letter said. "We also hope your review results in the withdrawal from distribution and sale of the items in question."

The letter was sent on Feb. 27 and Urban Outfitters has not yet responded to the Congress members.

Urban Outfitters did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

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