Spanish Retailer Pulls Alleged Anti-Semitic Children's Shirt
About a week after receiving criticism for its "White Is the New Black" T-shirt, Spanish retailer Zara is once again in the spotlight for its apparel designs.
This time, Zara released a children's pajama long-sleeve T-shirt featuring navy and white horizontal stripes and a six-point star with "sheriff" printed on it. The problem, however, is that many believe the shirt is anti-Semitic and it resembles the uniform Jewish concentration camp prisoners were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
Zara removed the T-shirt from its stores and website yesterday just hours after it was originally available for sale, according to its parent company, Inditex, which indicated the T-shirt was inspired by "classic American Westerns." Inditex also noted sales were marginal and remaining shirts would be "reliably destroyed."
"Inditex would like to reiterate its utmost respect for all cultures and religions," the company said in a statement. "The group is a company where people from 180 nationalities work together representing all the cultures, races and religions of the modern world. Inditex is proud of its cultural diversity. In addition, respect and dignity feature among the principles which guide and define its corporate values. The group condemns and rejects any form of discrimination."
But this wasn't Zara's first product believed to be anti-Semitic. In 2007, Zara sold a $78 handbag that featured four green swastikas, according to Fortune.
"When customers complained, Zara apologized and said it hadn’t realized that the handbag’s pattern contained swastikas," the magazine said. "The bag came from an Indian supplier and the approved design didn’t feature the symbols, the company said at the time."
This shirt was produced in Turkey and sold in the retailer's Albanian, French, Israeli and Swedish online stores, according to The Huffington Post.
The Anti-Defamation League was pleased with Zara's quick response and removal of the shirt, but Abraham H. Foxman, the league's national director and a Holocaust survivor, noted education about Holocaust and the history of anti-Semitism is needed.
"The shirt emblazoned with the yellow star is in poor taste and is deeply offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors," he said in a statement. "To anyone who knows their history, this kind of imagery should be off-limits. We welcome Zara’s recognition of the shirt’s offensive imagery and removal from sale."
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