The infamous “Hitler kettle” is no longer available at JC Penney.
The retailer came under fire after several people thought the ads for the kettle strongly resembled Adolf Hitler. Both the billboard and the item itself were pulled by the company.
Images of the billboard featuring the Hitler kettle soon went viral, prompting the company to respond to the controversy on Twitter. Despite the strong resemblance, JC Penney insists that it was entirely unintentional. Coincidental or not, the retailer has decided to ax the Michael Graves-designed product to avoid any more unwanted attention.
“If we had designed it to look like something, we would have gone with a snowman or something fun,” the store tweeted after photographs of the billboard started making the rounds online.
The sign, which was initially spotted by eagle-eyed Reddit users, was located near the 405 freeway in Culver City. Many folks even mentioned that the Hitler kettle appeared to be saluting.
Culver City mayor Jeffrey Cooper wasn’t a fan of the billboard. He told the website Mother Jones that he was “disappointed” in the retailer’s decision run with the kettle and the billboard.
“I am disappointed JC Penney actually put the billboard up in the first place and more outraged that they actually attempted to defend it. As a Jew, I am offended, (and) as an elected official, I am mad that the city I represent is linked to this,” Cooper explained.
Before the company yanked the offending item, JC Penney said in a tweet to comedian Patton Oswalt on Tuesday that the kettle was sold out online. Despite high demand for the product, the retailer pulled it anyway.
Not surprisingly, the $40 kettle has become something of a collector’s item. Auctions on eBay have already skyrocketed to around $200. Others have sold to curious shoppers for approximately $180 to $185.
— The Times of London (@thetimes) May 30, 2013
What do you think about the Hitler kettle being sold by JC Penney? Do you believe the retailer made the right decision by pulling the item from shelves?