Urban Outfitters has been urged by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-Semitism organisation, to cease selling a grey-and-white-striped tapestry that the group calls “eerily reminiscent of Holocaust” garb that gay male prisoners were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps.
The grey-and-white striped pattern features a pink triangle. This is similar to the the pink badge Nazi concentration camp prisoners were forced to wear to identify they were gay. The pink triangle has since been reclaimed as a symbol of the international homosexual rights movement.
ADL has sent Urban Outfitters a letter, expressing its concern over the “insensitive design and the company’s periodic use of products within the realm of Holocaust imagery.”
ADL national director and Holocaust survivor Abraham H. Foxman says in a press release on the organisation’s website: “Whether intentional or not, this grey and white striped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture. We urge Urban Outfitters to immediately remove the product eerily reminiscent of clothing forced upon the victims of the Holocaust from their stores and online”
A search of Urban Outfitters’ website did not surface the item in question, which could mean the item has already been removed from sale. Business Insider has contacted the retailer for a statement.
This is not the first time Urban Outfitters has been criticised for selling an apparently anti-Semitic product. In 2012, the retailer was castigated for selling a T-shirt that appeared to feature the Star of David on its breast pocket — reminiscent of the patch Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. Urban Outfitters removed the item from sale and the T-shirt’s designer Wood Wood responded by saying the graphic was not the Star of David and was “no way a reference to Judaism, Nazism, or the Holocaust.”
Other Urban Outfitters high-profile product controversies in recent years include:
- The retailer selling what looked like a blood-spattered “Kent State” sweatshirt which many observers interpreted as an offensive reference to the 1970s Kent State massacre.
- Selling a “drunk Jesus” t-shirt.
- Selling a “depression” t-shirt.
- Selling “Lord Ganesh” socks.
Naturally, many people are not shocked that Urban Outfitters is selling another controversial item:
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