A German online retailer is facing a massive backlash after some blatantly racist shirts were spotted up for sale on its site.
Spreadshirt.com allows users to create their own T-shirt designs and then sell them on its online platform. Two users identified as Quentin1984 and Monigote decided to take advantage of this creative freedom to create a pair of offensive designs, reading: “Save a dog, eat a Chinese” and “Save a shark, eat a Chinese.”
The designs were first noticed by Yomfyomf.com (You Offend Me You Offend My Family), a blog devoted to Asian American issues. Soon, the story was picked up by mainstream media websites like the Huffington Post and Spreadshirt’s social media pages were quickly bombarded with angry comments from outraged netizens.
The controversial T-shirt designs have since been removed from the company’s online store, and the company has formulated this PR response to angry commenters:
But Spreadshirt doesn’t appear ready yet to call its own users racist. A spokesperson told the Global Times that “This is the designer’s work which doesn’t represent our company. This is simply humor, though it is in poor taste it is not linked to racism. Allowing the designer to release this T-shirt is free speech.”
Meanwhile, YOMYOMF has also spotted the same offensive design up for sale on other online platforms, and has created a petition calling for their removal from the internet.
Each summer, the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Guizhou province stirs up international outrage and makes headlines around the world with thousands of dogs being slaughtered as food. However, in recent years more and more homegrown opposition has sprouted up against the festival. Last year, a record 11 million people signed a petition calling for an end to the festival, while a poll found that 64% of Chinese are opposed to the festival.
At the same time, celebrity-led campaigns have also helped to turn public opinion against shark fin soup, while the dish has also been banned at government banquets, helping to drive shark fin sales way down and resulting in a slight boost in the shark population.
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat