Fashion retailer Urban Outfitters has reportedly removed its controversial “Lord Ganesh” socks from stores and issued an apology to Hindus.
The red and blue crew-length socks featured an image of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh above the ankle. The $8 socks featuring the god worshipped by many Hindu sects were described by the Philadelphia-based firm as “awesome” and an exclusive design, Philly.com reports.
The socks, however, caught the attention of Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, who characterized them on his blog as highly inappropriate. Zed suggested that corporations send senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity before launching new advertising campaigns.
Crystal Carroll, public relations manager of Urban Outfitters, apologized in response to Zed’s complaint and said the socks would be removed from the clothier’s website immediately.
“We sincerely apologize if we offended the Hindu community and our customers,” Carroll said in a statement. “We appreciate Rajan Zed and the Universal Society of Hinduism for bringing this matter to our attention and for helping us understand the cultural and religious sensitivities this product carries.”
Urban Outfitters is no stranger to controversial products. Earlier this year, political leaders in Kentucky called on the retailer to stop selling flasks, shot glasses and pint glasses that look like prescription pill bottles. The company was also accused by the Navajo Nation in 2012 of trademark infringement for using the tribe’s geometric prints and names without licensing. The two parties have since failed to reach a settlement in federal court.