Urban Outfitters: When edgy goes too far
Urban Outfitters has become one of the most questionable and vastly inappropriate brands in the world.
The company has been under fire for selling many controversial items over the past decade, and is once again offending a large population.
The company has managed to offend Jews, blacks, Native Americans, liberals, LGBTQIA, eating-disorder awareness groups, and many others.
Conservative Richard Hayne, who has donated to many Republican politicians in the past, including Mitt Romney, owns UO.
The company is a purveyor of obscure “hipster” clothing and accessories and is marketed toward people in the 18-to-24 age bracket.
Most recently, UO was criticized for selling a “faux-vintage” blood-spattered Kent State sweatshirt.
In 1970, the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four unarmed college students and wounded nine others on the Kent State campus.
These students were killed following their protests of the Cambodian campaign, and there was a significant response to the slayings of these students by millions of people throughout the world.
These killings are a huge aspect of the American culture, and are not something to be made into a joke.
Prior to the release of the Kent State sweatshirt, UO has released many other unsuitable items in the past.
In 2003, UO angered the black community by releasing a Monopoly knockoff called Ghettopoly.
In 2005, a t-shirt with the phrase “New Mexico, Cleaner than regular Mexico” was released by UO, and many people were upset as it suggests that Mexico is dirty.
In 2008, the company pulled “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” t-shirts from the shelves blaming “too much bad press” even though there was only one negative statement about the shirt— an infinitesimal statistic in comparison to most of Urban Outfitter’s controversies.
In 2012, the company released a t-shirt with a six-pointed yellow star on the pocket of the shirt. The star alludes to the Holocaust when Jews were forced to wear a yellow star on their clothing every day. The company also released a t-shirt in 2004 that read, “Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl” with dollar signs surrounding the phrase. Both of these shirts angered many Jewish people around the world.
All of these products that have been released have offended a vast amount of people and have been seen as extremely degrading.
I am unsure if the owners and designers for this company are completely vapid or just ignoramuses, but these acts and fashion statements are simply unacceptable.
The fact that anyone believes that releasing a t-shirt with the phrase “Eat Less” is permissible is completely blasphemous.
The company has apologized for most of these horrendous gaffes, including the Kent State sweatshirt.
“It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970,” Urban Outfitters stated on twitter. “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.”
The company has claimed that this sweatshirt was in their “sun-faded vintage collection,” but I’m not exactly sure how this could be construed as sun-faded— nor do I understand why they would have chosen Kent State as the school with the red blood-like consistency on a sweatshirt if they didn’t intend to step on toes or insult thousands of people.
One must be able to determine the difference between pushing the envelope and completely tearing it open — something that Urban Outfitters is clearly incapable of doing.
Although the company may have apologized for most of the heinous, disgusting items released, it is our nation’s job not to allow this company’s gaffes to be forgiven and forgotten.