Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the man who plays Negan on The Walking Dead, has responded to the controversy surrounding a TWD T-shirt. Earlier this week, it was reported that a British retail chain pulled a Negan shirt from its stores after a customer complained it was racist. Now, the actor has responded and what he said is causing people to react.
On The Walking Dead, Negan is the newest villain. Carrying around his beloved barbed wire baseball bat nicknamed Lucille, he brutally murdered Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz). That caused a lot of rage from fans. It was not just that two fan favorite characters were killed, but some people felt it was too gory and graphic. Now, Negan is causing even more controversy, but this time it has nothing to do with an episode of the zombie apocalypse TV show.
On Tuesday, Warwick Courier reported that Primark, a British discount retail chain, pulled one specific Negan T-shirt. It had an image of his barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille, which has blood on it. The piece of clothing also has the phrase, “eeny meeny miny moe.” Ian Lucraft, a shopper who noticed the T-shirt complained to Primark’s chief executive and the apparel was removed. The shopper felt the T-shirt was “racist” and sent a “subliminal message.”
“It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.”
Lucraft continued to explain his point of view.
“The slogan is ‘eeeny meenie miny moe….’ It stops there, but of course, we all know what the original said: ‘catch a n***** by his toe.’ The graphic has a large American baseball bat, wrapped round with barbed wire, and covered with blood. This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America. It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.”
The shopper also said that he showed the shirt to a cashier and asked if anyone had questioned the item. She said it was new stock and had not seen it yet. When he showed it to her, Lucraft claimed the cashier was horrified.
The television show is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic books of the same name. In those comics, Negan kills Glenn, but hesitates because he doesn’t want to be considered a racist. In both the comic books and TV show, Glenn was Asian-American.
Holy crap people are stupid. 'Walking Dead’ Shirt Pulled From Stores After Complaint of Racism https://t.co/cpeIqcxTwJ
— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) February 22, 2017
“Holy crap people are stupid.”
After removing The Walking Dead T-shirt from its stores, TV Line reported that Primark issued a public apology.
“The t-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional, and Primark sincerely apologizes for this.”
People are having different reactions to the T-shirt controversy as well as Morgan’s comment. Some side with the actor, who feel that the phrase is being taken out of context. Others believe that the shirt is racist and should be pulled. As for AMC or the big bosses at TWD, there has been no comment or statement.
What do you think about the Negan T-shirt? Do you believe it is racist and sends subliminal messages? Was Primark right in removing the clothing? How do you feel about Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s response to The Walking Dead controversy?
[Featured Image by John Sciulli/Getty Images for AMC]