Target have found themselves embroiled in a sexism row over a new Star Wars T-shirt, and it’s all their own making. That’s because, for some inexplicable reason, even though the shirt is supposed to depict a scene between Darth Vader and Princess Leia, they’ve replaced her with Luke Skywalker.
To try and tie in with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Target have released a wide variety of new Star Wars-themed merchandise.
One of which is the below image from the original trilogy of David Prowse’s Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) pointing menacingly at Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), who stoically stares back at the evil emperor.
However, for some unknown reason, Target have decided to replace Princess Leia with Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in a clearly photo-shopped image. Well, it’s actually pretty clear why Target swapped Leia for Luke for the T-shirt, as they are marketing their product to boys. However, that doesn’t make it any less stupid.
As you’d expect, the internet soon reacted rather furiously to the chain’s decision to alter their T-shirts.
— Patrick Wood (@Pat_Wood) October 15, 2015
@AskTarget You did not put Luke in Leia’s place on a Star Wars scene on a “boys” t-shirt. That royally sucks! How sexist can you be,Target?
— KHub (@krishub) October 16, 2015
@Target Why don’t you put Leia back on that Star Wars t-shirt first? Then we’ll talk.
— Burlap Bean Tyrant (@favomancer) October 15, 2015
— Kim Vander Dussen (@wwfan7ana) October 17, 2015
You can take a look at the Star Wars T-shirt that’s available over at Target here. And as you can see, the shirt has a rating of 1/5, with users quick to point out the huge problem with the attire.
One user wrote, “The only part of this scene that you got right, was Darth Vader. Where’s Princess Leia? LUKE WASN’T EVEN IN THIS SCENE AAAAGGGGHHHHH.”
They were soon joined in their disdain by Nerdessa, who entitled her response “Removing Leia? Terrible idea” before adding, “Disappointed that the marketing people thought this was a good idea to remove Leia from the scene in favor of Luke.”
Target have since tried to quash this sexism row by issuing a tweeted response to a user who had spotted the discrepancy.
@G33KDad It’s never our intention to leave anyone out! We’ll share your thoughts with the right teams. Thanks for getting in touch with us.
— AskTarget (@AskTarget) October 15, 2015
Just as alarming as the fact that Leia has been cropped out and replaced from a scene that she was in is the fact that there seemingly aren’t actually any Princess Leia T-shirts available for kids to buy.
@AskTarget Thank you. Can you also let them know I didn’t find any shirt that does have Princess Leia on it while searching?
— Jason (@G33KDad) October 15, 2015
This isn’t the first time that Target have found themselves embroiled in a Star Wars T-shirt sexism row that has involved Princess Leia.
In fact, as recently as May 2015, the store found itself under fire after it sold a shirt that insisted that while Luke Skywalker was “most likely to succeed,” Han Solo was “most likely to break the rules,” and Darth Vader was “most likely to be your boss,” it also declared that Princess Leia was “most likely to be rescued.”
Let’s hope that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens goes a long way to disproving Target’s interpretation of these female movie icons. And with Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o, and Gwendoline Christie all starring, it should do just that when the blockbuster is released on December 18, 2015.
[Images via Lucasfilm & Target]