Amazon Pulls Third-Party Apparel Items Featuring Slavery Joke
It's easy to assume that as a company grows in power and visibility, it becomes infallible to mistakes. It's also easy to assume that a company with the clout and resources that Amazon has would have necessary quality control personnel to weed out potentially disastrous hits to its reputation.
That's what makes it so astounding when something slips through the cracks on Amazon's marketplace. But, due to the sheer mass of products that are available on the site, these stragglers are inevitable, but certainly damaging. The latest: merchandise that says "slavery gets [expletive] done" with a picture of the pyramids. The image was on laptop cases, mugs, bags, T-shirts, bibs and more, according to Fox 13.
Seriously?! 😡😡 https://t.co/Btulzgp3U5
— Global Citizen (@GlblCtzn) January 22, 2018
The items have been taken down, but Amazon still faced the internet's vitriol, with some even throwing around a #BoycottAmazon hashtag.
AMAZON APPROVED. PERIOD. NUFF SAID. #BoycottAmazon THIS WARRANTS A BOYCOTT MORE THAN ANYTHING RN. O.M.G. SMH
— Sherri D (@DizzDizzle) January 22, 2018
Amazon told Reuters that all of the products were listed by third-party sellers, and were removed because they didn't follow selling guidelines.
"If it is meant to be funny, it failed miserably," Jakub Sobik of Anti-Slavery International told Reuters.
"Children the same age as those modeling the T-shirts will be forced to work long hours for no pay in desperate conditions where starvation, beatings and sleep deprivations are common," said David Westlake, CEO of the International Justice Mission in UK. "Rather than trivializing slavery, companies and the global community must recognize the vast injustice of modern slavery and work together to end it for good."
Amazon made the right call by removing the items immediately, but there's still the question of how they were up for sale in the first place. This obviously violated Amazon's guidelines. As e-commerce companies, even those much smaller than the gargantuan Amazon and the seemingly lenient Alibaba, gain steam and power in the marketplace, the question of quality control lingers.