Kristen Johnston Hits Kitson Boutique’s Prescription Drug T-Shirts

By ABC News

Aug 29, 2013 9:55am

Kitson, a Los Angeles boutique popular with celebrities, is coming under fire from one celebrity for selling football jersey-like T-shirts with the names of prescription drugs including Vicodin, Adderall and Xanax.

Actress Kristen Johnston, the former star of “3rd Rock From the Sun,” tweeted her outrage on Tuesday.

“Millions are dying, & u want to make $ off it. SHAME ON YOU,” she wrote, including the boutique’s Twitter handle.

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For the actress, the issue is personal. She appeared on “Good Morning America” last year to talk about her years of struggle with addictions to drugs and alcohol.

“There’s so much secrecy,” she said in that interview with “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts. “And I think it keeps people sick.  I really do. I think, so I think if you need to tell someone, you should.”

In a statement to ABC News, the shirt’s designer, Brian Lichtenberg, defended the shirts, calling them a “parody of pop culture.”

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Not everyone sees it that way. In 2010, 43 percent of all fatal overdoses involved prescription painkillers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“To be marketing these t-shirts with such disregard … such disrespect to an epidemic in this country is such a gross misuse of marketing and power,” addiction expert Kristina Wandzilak told ABC News.

A popular retail chain, Urban Outfitters, pulled a painkiller-themed line of items in June after a backlash.

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Kitson says the shirts will remain on the shelves. T-shirts cost $58 and sweatshirts, $98.

“Ultimately it’s freedom of speech … And it’s fashion and there’s a fun part of it, and it’s parody and people can wear it and say what they want on their shirts,” Mark Peters, Director of Stores for Kitson, told ABC News.

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