A t-shirt that read “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot” brought controversy to Amazon’s UK site as both the online retailer and the company that created the shirt rushed to apologize.
Customers found the offensive t-shirt on a site from Solid Gold Bomb, a US-based clothing seller. It was listed along with others that seemed to promote domestic violence, prompting angry buyers to notify Amazon of their presence.
But despite the backlash, the shirt reading “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot” remained visible and available for purchase for several hours, The Huffington Post noted.
The shirt is a play on the World War II slogan from Britain, “keep calm and carry on,” which has been transformed into a popular t-shirt concept with “carry on” being replaced by various phrases.
Though the retailer apologized and pulled the t-shirt, Amazon allowed Solid Gold Bomb to sell other t-shirts that had the same theme of domestic violence. The BBC noted others that read “keep calm and knife her” and “keep calm and grope a lot.”
The shirts led to a strong backlash on social media. Twitter users railed against the misogynistic shirts, with one person writing, “Amazon could be selling some of the most heinous T-shirts in history.”
Another wrote: “Seriously @AmazonUK What the hell? Odious and inexcusable.”
Solid Gold Bomb tried to distance itself from the “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot” shirt, saying that it was “automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against 100s of thousands of dictionary words.”
The company noted:
“Although we did not in any way deliberately create the offensive t-shirts in question and it was the result of a scripted programming process that was compiled by only one member of our staff, we accept the responsibility of the error and our [sic] doing our best to correct the issues at hand. We’re sorry for the ill feeling this has caused! We’re doing our best here to fix the problem.”
But the Sun found another apology, via Twitter, that said the t-shirt was indeed created by a person and not by random generation.
“I appreciate everyone’s comments but please, accept this as a mistake as we certainly do not condone ‘rape’ ” the person wrote via Twitter.
What do you think about the “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot” t-shirt?