The fashion retailer TK Maxx has launched an internal review after a customer complained that one of its T-shirts could be seen as mocking the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
The black T-shirt printed with the slogan “Je suis over it” was spotted by shopper Tom Young at a branch in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.
Young said the slogan was in bad taste as it could be seen as referencing “Je suis Charlie”, which was a mark of solidarity and defiance in the aftermath of the Paris terror attack. Twelve people, including eight journalists, were killed when gunmen stormed the office of the satirical magazine in January.
Young, 23, told the Mirror: “It’s appalling that a global brand has allowed a T-shirt like this to be produced and sold in store. Even if the message did not intend to cause upset in relation to the tragic event, I am adamant it should be taken down from stores immediately.”
TK Maxx has withdrawn the T-shirt from sale across its 280 stores and apologised to any customers who may have been upset.
The T-shirt was manufactured by the US-based Reason Clothing in May 2014, before the Charlie Hebdo massacre. A spokesperson for Reason said the company was working with retailers to remove the style from stocks and have them destroyed. “No connection with the Charlie Hebdo attacks was intended or implied,” the spokesperson added.
The T-shirt has also been removed from sale on the fashion website Asos. A spokesperson said: “It is never our intention to knowingly offend or cause upset to anyone, least of all those affected by the terrible tragedy in Paris in January 2015 this year.
“Therefore we have withdrawn the item in question from sale with immediate effect and fully support the brands pledge to destroy all remaining stock”
A spokesperson from TK Maxx told the Mirror: “We take product matters very seriously and appreciate that this T-shirt has been brought to our attention.
“As soon as we became aware of the offensive T-shirt message, we initiated the process to remove this item from our stores and are internally reviewing how we inadvertently purchased the item. We would like to apologise to our customers for any concern this may have caused.”
This article was written by Aisha Gani, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 12th August 2015 15.44 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010