Forever 21 has responded to being under fire for glorifying Nazi symbols by pulling the t-shirt in question.
Per Daily Mail, Forever 21 made the decision to pull their “famous graphic tee,” which is a white t-shirt featuring a mixture of symbols, words, and numbers in response to customer’s outrage. The t-shirt features the words “forever,” “famous,” “do it with passion,” and “okay.” The design on the t-shirt under fire also includes scribbles, lightning bolts, stars, and the number 88.
— Yahoo (@Yahoo) March 16, 2017
Why are customers so fired up about this Forever 21 t-shirt? How does the t-shirt glorify Nazi symbols? Well, the number 88 is a code that the Nazis and the white supremacists used to stand for “HH.” H being the eighth letter of the alphabet and HH (or 88) standing for Heil Hitler.
It was Fox 40 that first reported shoppers in the state of California complaining after spotting the t-shirt in local Forever 21 stores. Amie Alton told FOX 40 the lightning bolts in the design of the shirt can also be a Nazi symbol, further supporting customer complains that the t-shirt was celebrating National Socialism via symbols.
“I’ve seen that tagged on stuff growing up, and know what that is. It stands for HH, ‘Heil Hitler.’ And the lightning bolt stands for the SS from the Third Reich.”
“Facism isn’t fashion,” she added.
The woman’s graphic tee as well a men’s hoodie featuring a similar “forever 88” design were also available for purchase on Forever 21’s website. The fashion retailer has since removed all products featuring the graphic design from both their physical storefronts and their website.
“Forever 21 takes feedback and product concerns very seriously. With regards to the t-shirt in question, upon receiving feedback from our customers, we took immediate action to have the product removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product,” the company told BuzzFeed late on Tuesday of this week.
At this time, the controversial women’s t-shirt is still available for purchase in countries other than the United States. For example, the t-shirt slammed for glorifying Nazi symbols can still be purchased on the Forever 21’s India website for 759 rupees, which is roughly $11.50 USD.
Daily Mail notes this isn’t exactly the first time Forever 21 has been under fire for what the designs of their products are promoting. In fact, the fashion retail has been accused of having products with designs promoting racism once before. The company was even the victim of a hoax which claimed they sold earrings that had swastikas on them. Forever 21, however, adamantly denied there was any truth to that claim.
Forever 21 has pulled a number of controversial products from their shelves in the past. Last year, the company came under fire for a t-shirt with “Don’t Say Maybe if You Want to Say No.” The t-shirts were pulled after the fashion company was accused of endorsing a pro-rape message. In 2010, Forever 21 was also criticized for releasing a maternity clothing line given the fact that they were a company who mainly targeted teenagers. It likely didn’t help that three of the five states where they released the maternity line had the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country. Customers criticized the company at the time because it seemed almost as if they were encouraging pregnant teens by providing them with fashionable clothing.
The phrase “Forever 21 Nazi” is currently trending on Twitter
The phrase “Forever 21 Nazi” has been trending off and on for the last few hours on Twitter as customers slam the company for glorifying Nazi symbols. Some Twitter users have slammed Forever 21 for not even trying to hide the Nazi symbols in the design. Others have even gone as far as encouraging people to boycott Forever 21 for carrying shirts with such offensive designs.
Heard @Forever21 was selling Nazi t-shirts. 88 and lightening bolts? Why so subtle guys? *sarc*
— Fataytay (@Fataytay313) March 15, 2017
forever 21 BOYCOTT "FOREVER 21" —they're selling NAZI PROPAGANDA T-shirts and hoodies in the stores and online with "88" on them!!!
— SAMUEL VETA (@VALENTINEBOY50) March 15, 2017
Are Forever 21 customers overreacting or did the company make the right decision by pulling the t-shirts and hoodies featuring this particular graphic design? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by TungCheung/ShutterStock]