Most people have seen those T-shirts with either funny statements on them or a comical character with a witty punch line. I actually have one that says “That’s what she said”(A famous Michael Scott quote from NBC show the office). There are also the very popular Keep Calm and…. whatever the finish may be T-shirts seen all over the world now a days.
However, Amazon who is a major source for shipping these popular T-shirts, is in some hot water following a major debate that happened over this past weekend.
To be specific, its the company’s United Kingdom Website is the one in a little bit of trouble, after it was learned that the website was offering T-shirts for sell that were actually promoting rape and violence against women. The T-shirts were manufactured and sold here in the United States for around $25 and had Slogans such as “Keep Calm and Hit Her”, “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot” and “Keep Calm and Rape Them” according to Yahoo.
The Melbourne Company, which is based in Australia, produces the T-shirts for the United States and for Oxford, after hearing about the butchering of the Keep Calm slogan the founder of the company Michael Fowle issued this statement to the public saying, “No words can express how I feel about what has occurred and in no way do I condone or promote this serious issue.”
He went on to mention that he will offer more information about the situation as he learns more about how it happen. He did express that neither him and his company and the company associated partner Solid Gold Bomb had no intentions to spread violent slogans, but that he takes full responsibility for this mistake.
Fowle says that the cause of this mistake is believed to be a computer glitch. Solid Gold Bomb took its own Facebook and Twitter pages offline on Saturday, as well, issuing a statement on its Web site as a response:
“The slogan had been automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against hundreds of thousands of dictionary words. Any offensive items that are remaining are certainly in the deletion queue and will be removed as soon as the processing is complete.”
However the explanation still does not sit well with others. Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman says the decision to sell the merchandise was absolutely outrageous and that Domestic violence and sex offenses are not something people should make money out of.
“I Think they (Amazon) should give all profits they may have made from this terrible excuse for humor to a women’s refuge,” Harman said
All the T-Shirts were pulled off Amazon websites early Sunday morning, even some other ones that the company was not aware of like “Keep Calm and Knife Her,” “Keep Calm and Choke Her,” and “Keep Calm and Grope On.”
“This product perpetuates sexism and is absolutely despicable,” Former labor deputy leader John Prescott tweeted.
According to CNN, a blogger in Birmingham, England named Pete Ashton says that shirts were never actually printed. “The shirts don’t exist, all that exists is a graphics file on a computer ready to be printed onto a shirt if an order comes through,” Ashton said.
I think most people will say no matter if the shirts exist or not, the whole thing is disrespectful and distasteful. It is unclear right now if Amazon will actually make any type of donation from this issue, but it appears there worldwide image has been smeared a little bit.
How did T-shirts advocating rape end up on Amazon?
Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group talks to Channel 4 News about the mistake that allowed T-shirts advocating rape being sold on Amazon.
Amazon Pulls ‘Rape Her’ and Other Offensive Shirts
A company called Solid Gold Bomb was distributing ‘Keep Calm and Rape Her’ T-shirts on Amazon.