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The company said the shirt’s design was meant to look like a sheriff’s star from classic Western films. But after popular uproar, Zara decided to pull it from shelves.
The clothing retail giant Zara is apologizing and has pulled a kids’ shirt from its stores after hearing complaints that it resembled the uniform worn by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
In a tweet, Zara said the shirt was “inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films.”
Reporting from Spain’s Canary Islands, Lauren Frayer tells our Newscast unit that this isn’t the first time the Spanish retailer has gotten into trouble. She filed this report:
"The shirt in question is navy and white striped, with a big gold star on the chest. Zara sold it online in several countries, including Israel.
"The company called it a ‘sheriff shirt’ for kids. But many shoppers thought it looked conspicuously like a World War II concentration camp outfit, and complained on Twitter and Facebook.
"Zara has now tweeted an apology, and says it’s pulling the shirt from its inventory.
"This on the heels of another Zara controversy. The Spanish retailer has been accused of racism for selling T-shirts with the slogan ‘White is the new black.’ “
The Guardian points out that back in 2007, Zara was forced to withdraw a handbag from its stores because the design featured swastikas.
One thing worth noting is that the six-point star, which looks like the Jewish Star of David, is embroidered with the word “sheriff.” Also, as Lauren reports, “the shirt’s stripes are horizontal, unlike the ones on prison garb worn by Holocaust victims, which were usually vertical.”
Apologize all you want Zara. It was only after you were publicly shamed that you pulled the shirts. The intent was still loud and clear. Pouring fuel on a fire. What’s next for your winter line? T-shirts with beheaded Christians? This Spanish company needs to be called out.
Clearly, the Holocaust is talked about too much because everyone knows everything about it and nothing like this would ever happen. /sarcasm
In seriousness, though, this is clearly a sign of SEVERE lack of awareness. Apathy to anti-semitism perpetuates anti-semitism. The fact that Zara doesn’t know that this looks like some perverse costume mocking the victims of the Holocaust is proof enough of that. If I saw anyone wearing that shirt I would assume that they were out to mock Holocaust victims. I mean, really.
This company is a disgrace, I hope they go out of business.