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12/09/2008

Inurbane de-outfitting

by Jeremy Hooper

Does this shirt offend you?

Picture 20-36

If you're a reader of this site, you're as unlikely to answer "yes" to that question as you were to vote the same on Proposition 8. However, not everyone is as wonderfully enlightened as you dear readers. In fact, it seems that one certain hipster company that makes money off many a homosexual consumer has gotten cold feet over this particular piece of protection from cold nipples. This from NY Mag's The Cut blog:

Printed T-shirts are a staple item for Urban Outfitters, but in a rare move, the company yanked one from their California shelves last week. Tara Littman of Support Shirts designed the shirt in question, which features the statement "I Support Same Sex Marriage," clearly a hot-button item in the Proposition 8 state. Less than a week after it first arrived in stores and online, the shirt was gone. A buyer cited the reason as "too much bad press" to Littman, though the designer couldn't find more than one blog entry that dissed the shirt. (Funny how a youth-targeted company blamed the Internet.) But we had to wonder if there was more to it than just bad press.
MORE: Urban Outfitters Yanks Same-Sex Marriage T-shirt From Shelves [The Cut]
(H/t: Right Wing Watch)

So why does this NY Mag writer wonder if there is more to the decision than bad press? Well, this is a start:

Founder and chairman Richard Hayne's campaign contributions (very partial list -- click for full)
Picture 21-27

Richard Hayne skews right. Richard Hayne skews VERY, Santorum-supporting right. Don't let the Obama bobbleheads fool you.

Look, we've been a slave to their kitschy wares too. Even recently. But maybe it's time we start really thinking about where the profits from those Thundercats tees and bright colored apartment wares really go. We can even safely suggest an alternative that we know to be on our side:

Fred Flare

**UPDATE, 12/11: The company cites soft sells as the only reason for the shirt being pulled. They also cite that a CEO, Glen Senk, is openly gay:

Urban Outfitters Responds to Controversy From Yanking Same-Sex T-shirt [The Cut]

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Your thoughts

Can we boycott Urban Outfitters, or would that make us seem too mean and radical? Of course, as old as I am, I'd have to start shopping there to quit, but it's the thought that counts. Maybe I'll stop by their store in S.F. in the next day or so with some flyers to scatter around.

Posted by: Houston | Dec 9, 2008 6:40:22 PM

Then Urban Outfitters are damn stupid, I'd buy one and wear it with pride.

Posted by: chandira | Dec 9, 2008 7:03:42 PM

Looks like we're adding Urban Outfitters to the list.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Dec 9, 2008 8:26:44 PM

Very old news although several key executives are gay. Love the concepts love the stores but will NEVER buy anything from them.
The also own Anthropologie, Free People, and some obscure garden center outside of Philly.

Posted by: Tex | Dec 9, 2008 8:37:29 PM

Tex: Yes, the news about Hayne is old. However, the shirt is a new development.

But as for Hayne: He's managed to keep it very much under warps. Maybe this shirt controversy will be what brings it to major attention.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 9, 2008 8:53:40 PM

Urban Outfitters has a long history of doing bad things.

Theft, for example.

http://consumerist.com/consumer/evil/urban-outfitters-rips-designers-cupcake-tshirt-149095.php

Posted by: me | Dec 9, 2008 8:58:20 PM

Ha! I haven't shopped there in years and now I never will again. Thanks for the info Jeremy.

Posted by: john ozed | Dec 10, 2008 11:11:18 AM

i don't shop there but the wife does. nothing in there fits this burly dyke. she'll be bummed.

Posted by: c-freak | Dec 10, 2008 11:39:07 AM

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