Published April 23, 2012
The Anti-Defamation League is calling out retailer Urban Outfitters for a shirt the Jewish group claims bears a symbol strikingly similar to the one used by Nazis to identify Jews during the Holocaust.
The sale of the shirt, which comes on the heels of National Holocaust Remembrance Day, is just the latest in a long line of offensive products from Urban Outfitters, the ADL tells FoxNews.com.
The T-shirt, sold by the Philadelphia-based Urbn Inc. but manufactured by Dutch label Wood Wood, is a yellow and features a blue six-pointed star on a breast pocket. But the ADL tells FoxNews.com that it’s far more sinister than just a simple tee -- and is reminiscent of the yellow badges that Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear during the Holocaust.
“It’s a new low in Urban Outfitter’s consistent use of various offensive messages in what appears to be a quest for attention,” Barry Morrison, the Philadelphia regional director of the ADL, told FoxNews.com. “We are very troubled by it.”
“The juxtaposition of the six-pointed star on a yellow shirt brings about associations with the yellow Star of David that the Jews were forced to wear. A symbol marking Jews as subhuman -- setting them apart and ultimately paving the way for their annihilation.”
Urban Outfitters did not respond to FoxNews.com’s request for comment.
The manufacturer of the shirt, which retails for $100, reached out to the ADL with an apology Monday, assuring that the logo consists of “patchwork and geometric patterns” and that it was not a Star of David. The company added that the shirt was part of the spring/summer collection for Wood Wood, but that the design from the breast pocket was ultimately removed from the final product after concerns were raised over its resemblance to the Holocaust imagery.
ADL National Director Abraham Foxman praised Wood Wood, saying it recognized “early on the shirt’s potentially offensive imagery and changed the design so the six-pointed star-shaped logo would no longer appear.”
The logo, however, can still be seen as the lead image on the Wood Wood website’s clothing collections page.
Moreover, the image of the T-shirt with the design somehow ended up on Urban Outfitters catalog site. Wood Wood, which previously has faced accusations that their products contain war symbolism, blamed Urban Outfitters for the “error” in displaying an earlier sample of the T-shirt.
Morrison told FoxNews.com that ADL was calling upon Urban Outfitters not only to remove the shirt from the site but also to respond to their several attempts to correspond with the company over what they claim is a history of selling blatantly offensive material.
“Urban Outfitters has a long history of putting out products that are problematic. They have offended Jews, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Irish-Americans and Catholics,” Morrison said. “For St. Patrick’s Day, they released a T-shirt with the words, 'Irish I was Drunk.' They have also released products like 'Ghettoopoly' or a Jesus doll on a cross that could be dressed up in different outfits, including a costume of the devil.”
“They have continuously crossed the line into incivility,” he added. “We have asked them in the past to meet with us so we can discuss these issues, but we have never received a reply. There is a way to be successful without offending or belittling people.”