- Diesel is selling a £350 ($US458) jacket emblazoned a homophobic slur in the UK.
- The brand claims that the product was created in collaboration with “13 Reasons Why” actor Tommy Dorfman to combat homophobia and cyberbullying.
- It’s a part of the “Hate Couture” campaign, which has the tagline, “the more hate you wear, the less you care.”
- Online, people think the campaign’s execution is all wrong.
People think Diesel missed the mark with its latest offering.
The brand is selling a satin bomber jacket that is emblazoned with a homophobic slur in what people think is a botched attempt to reclaim the word. The coat costs £350 ($US458) and only seems to be available in the UK.
It’s a part of the brand’s “Hate Couture” campaign, which has the tagline, “the more hate you wear, the less you care.” The brand came up with this specific jacket, which is part of a larger campaign, in collaboration with “13 Reasons Why” actor Tommy Dorfman, and says the jacket’s aim is to combat homophobia and cyberbullying.
Diesel is also selling a $US98 women’s T-shirt in the same campaign that says “slut,” among others.
There is also a shirt that calls the wearer an imposter, among others that are available in the US and the UK.
On October 10, the brand tweeted, in reference to the campaign.
“It’s worth repeating: you don’t make online hate disappear by hiding it,” the post said. “Share your stories of online hate. It’s time to take the hurt out of hate #DieselHateCouture.”
It’s worth repeating: you don’t make online hate disappear by hiding it. Share your stories of online hate. It’s time to take the hurt out of hate. #DieselHateCouture
— Diesel (@DIESEL) October 10, 2018
People are sceptical of the company’s execution of the campaign, though.
I'm so disappointed in you as a brand for doing this, it's wrong. Popularising the word 'faggot' isn't the way forward. Please rectify.
— John Wylie (@JJW94) October 13, 2018
Wearing derogatory words is not the way to do it. Simply offensive.
— Sandra (@SandraRankin_UK) October 12, 2018
WHEN DIESEL MADE HOMOPHOBIC ABUSE INTO A JACKET. You don't speak for me.
— fibite me (@phoebetheamazon) October 18, 2018
Others have aired the frustration and disappointment.
“The more hate you wear, the less you care” I agree but there’s a fine line you shouldn’t cross when using ‘hate’ as slogans adorned onto garments. Are we really suggesting the way to eliminate hate speech is to normalise it?
— Fraser Maximilian (@f__maximilian) October 18, 2018
This is such trash. I get what @DIESEL are trying to do but mixing words like faggot with ones like uncool or weirdo is insulting. This does not help us. Instead it just helps them get a few extra clicks for their dying brand. https://t.co/3PGBj7qH2W
— I do doodle. You too, you do doddle too ????️???? (@lukeethornhill) October 11, 2018
I know what Diesel are trying to do, but I feel they are failing spectacularly with this. I find it a bit uncomfortable. pic.twitter.com/SCe2N4m884
— Ariana Grundy (@GrundyOxford) October 10, 2018
Love the #hatecouture campaign sentiment @DIESEL. But flashing a hateful, violent word in shop displays out of context feels a bad move. As does drawing equivalence between mild insults “uncool” and “bad guy”, and the word “faggot”. pic.twitter.com/8OhHKgqyAL
— Matt Haworth (@acrim) October 7, 2018
One person said they wanted proceeds from jacket were being donated to an LGBTQ+ charity.
Whatever the intentions were behind that 'faggot' Diesel jacket, nothing makes me more sad than knowing a) it's sold out in some sizes, and b) not a penny of those sales are going to LGBTQ+ charities.
— douglas greenwood (@douglasgrnwd) October 17, 2018
But Dorfman, who was involved in the conception of the coat clarified on the platform that “all proceeds from this jacket are benefitting the Ali Forney Center in NY which provides shelter, food, and programs to homeless LGBTQ+ youth.”
In a statement provided to Mic, Diesel addressed the backlash.
“Our aim has always been to disempower those that create the hate and manifest negativity. Every individual cast within the campaign relates personally to the issue itself. To bring awareness to the wider issue, each chose a phrase that they wanted to wear proudly with the goal of empowering others to take a stance,” a spokesperson for the brand said. “Together, Diesel and Tommy Dorfman use this as a platform to disempower the haters and show the more hate you wear, the less you care.”
Diesel isn’t the first brand to come under fire this year for a botched rollout of an anti-bullying campaign. In September, LPA and Revolve were criticised selling sweatshirts that seemed to promote fat-shaming.
INSIDER has reached out to both Tommy Dorfman and Diesel for comment.
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