How A Translation Error On A Bogus Website Sparked An N-Word Scandal For Abercrombie & Fitch

abercrombie and fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch has been dealing with a racism scandal today, reports Adrian Chen at Gawker.

People are enraged over this listing for brown cargo pants described as “[N-word] Brown.” (click here to see the site).

But it’s all a hoax, since it’s on a website registered in China that appears to just sell a bunch of knockoffs.

A&F hadn’t done anything wrong, but it still has to deal with the fallout. Twitter totally freaked out over this today.

It turns out that it’s likely because of a bad translation program. In 2007, a couch was found with the same description on it. 

Investigations showed that a translation program — made by Chinese software company Kingsoft Corp. — was at fault. When the Chinese characters for “dark brown” are typed in … well, you see the results.

Alas, there’s not much A&F can do about it but try to get the word out that it’s not its fault. Sometimes brands just get unlucky.

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