Urban Outfitters Condemned for Jewish Star Tee

By ABC News

Apr 22, 2012 10:13am
ht urban outfitter star tshirt jt 120422 wblog Urban Outfitters Condemned for Jewish Star Tee

Credit: Urban Outfitters

ABC News’ Olivia Katrandjian and Christina Ng report:

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Urban Outfitters for selling a t-shirt with a symbol that looks like the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe.

“We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and we are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers,” Barry Morrison, regional director of the ADL, wrote in a letter e-mailed to Richard A. Hayne, President and CEO of Urban Outfitters.

Morrison said this “…represents a new low.”

The t-shirt, called the Kellog Tee, was designed by the Danish label Wood Wood and costs $100.

Urban Outfitters did not immediately respond to requests from ABCNews.com for comment.

The clothing company is no stranger to controversy.

In March, the company sold a line of Irish-themed clothing and accessories that U.S. Congress said portrayed “severe and negative stereotypes.”

One of the women’s tank-tops says, “Irish I Were Drunk” with a shamrock and another t-shirt says, “Kiss Me I’m Drunk, Or Irish, Or Whatever.” A hat that shows a stick figure on all fours vomiting says, “Irish Yoga.”

In Oct. 2011, Sasha Houston Brown, a 24-year-old Native American woman from Minnesota, wrote a letter to the company about a line of “Navajo” items she claimed were “cheap, vulgar and culturally offensive.”

Brown said she was offended by “plastic dreamcatchers wrapped in pleather hung next to an indistinguishable mass of artificial feather jewelry and hyper sexualized clothing featuring an abundance of suede, fringe and inauthentic tribal patterns.”

A “Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask” and “Navajo Hipster Panty” drew criticism for the company, which later removed the word “Navajo” from the product titles.

On Feb. 28, the Navajo Nation sued Urban Outfitters for violating its trademark by selling the clothing and accessories.

The Navajo Nation said in its lawsuit that even after Urban Outfitters removed the word “Navajo” from its products on its website, it “continued to sell its products in its retail stores under the ‘Navajo’ and ‘Navaho’ names and marks. Moreover, defendant also continued to use the word ‘Navajo’ on its sales receipts.”

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