UPDATE: Urban Outfitters appears to have removed the shirt from their site.
Today in Urban Outfitters Products That Are Pissing People Off: here's the so-called Urban Outfitters "Jewish Star" T-shirt.
The $100 "Wood Wood Kellog Tee," currently available on the store's website, has the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Philadelphia up in arms over the shirt's design which they say mimics some of the horrors of the Holocaust.
The chief offender? The star patch is placed on the T-shirt pocket right above the yellow shirt's left breast:
Today the Anti-Defamation League issued a strongly-worded letter of condemnation to Urban Outfitters charging that one of its products "…represents a new low."
Barry Morrison, ADL Regional Director, wrote to Richard Hayne, Chairman, President and CEO of Urban Outfitters, about a t-shirt offered by the company which is associated with the yellow Star of David symbol Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe. Morrison said, "We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers."The League has communicated with Urban Outfitters on numerous occasions over the years regarding a variety of projects that have, "tread on the feelings and reinforced stereotypes of various groups—Christians, blacks, and Irish, Mexican, and Jewish-Americans…the list goes on." The League also demanded an immediate apology from the company asking that the product no longer be sold and urging it to meet with League representatives.
Check out the gallery below to see more Urban Outfitters controversies.
UPDATE: WoodWood sent us the following response:As some of you are aware, several news sites have been writing about our "'Kellog' T-shirt, which features an image of a six-pointed star, allegedly similar to the yellow badge Jews were ordered to wear by the German nazis. First of all the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to judaism, nazism or the holocaust. The graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns for our spring/summer collection 'State of Mind'. However when we received the prototype of this particular style we did recognize the resemblance, which is why we decided not to include the star patch on the final production T-shirt. I assume the image people have reacted to come from Urban Outfitters´ web site. This must be a photograph of an early sample, which is of course an error. Here is the actual T-shirt as it is in stores. I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings with this.
Irish Drunk Scoop
In March 2012, Urban Outfitters began selling St. Patrick's Day-themed clothing that included shirts with derogatory statements about Irish people, such as: "Irish I Was Drunk." These shirts received negative reactions from Irish-Americans and were pulled. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/urban-outfitters-st-patricks-day-clothes-_n_1313242.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
In June 2010, Urban Outfitters released this t-shirt with this description: "Eat less or more or however much you'd like in this seriously soft knit tee cut long and topped with a v-neck." They should have printed that whole description instead of just "eat less" which seems to promote an unhealthy lifestyle and body image. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/03/eat-less-urban-outfitters_n_598904.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
Catalog Photo Condemned
Urban Outfitters <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/urban-outfitters-lesbian-kiss-photo-one-million-moms_n_1431134.html" target="_hplink">received heat</a> from anti-gay groups for this photo in their April 2012 catalogue depicting two female models kissing. A group known as One Million Moms wrote on their website: "On page two of this catalog is a picture of two women kissing in a face holding embrace!...The content is offensive and inappropriate for a teen who is the company's target customer." (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/urban-outfitters-lesbian-kiss-photo-one-million-moms_n_1431134.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
In April 2010, Urban Outfitters pulled a t-shirt from their online store with a color option of 'Obama/Black.' The store had produced Obama-themed shirts but none of them with this color description. In response, the store released this statement: "The burnout pattern on this shirt is comprised of two colors - one is an internally developed color we called "Obama Blue" and the other is "Black." Unfortunately our website database truncate this combination to read "Obama/Black." We should have caught the error, and apologize for offending anyone." (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/01/urban-outfitters-obamabla_n_444220.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
'Tranny' Greeting Card
In March 2012, Urban Outfitters came under fire for a greeting card that was deemed transphobic by LGBT advocates. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/urban-outfitters-tranny-greeting-card_n_1364589.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
Kiss Me Tee
Another derogatory t-shirt against Irish and Irish-Americans saying: "Kiss me. I'm Drunk, or Irish, or whatever." (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/urban-outfitters-st-patricks-day-clothes-_n_1313242.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
Irish Yoga Trucker Hat
Surprisingly, the offensive St. Patrick's Day-themed items have not been pulled from Urban Outfitters' shelves, even when this trucker cap outraged Irish and Irish-American people. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/urban-outfitters-st-patricks-day-clothes-_n_1313242.html" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
Jewish Star T-Shirt
In April 2012, Urban Outfitters angered the Jewish community by selling a $100 shirt that critics said mimicked the design of star patches Jewish people are forced to wear during the Holocaust. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/urban-outfitters-jewish-star-tshirt_n_1441731.html?ref=style " target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
I Heart Destination Necklaces
In May 2011, an independent jewelry designer accused Urban Outfitters of stealing her designs. She wrote on her blog: "I understand that they are a business, but it's not cool to completely rip off an independent designer's work." Urban pulled the collection. (<a href="http://imakeshinythings.tumblr.com/post/5855716317/not-cool-urban-outfitters-not-cool" target="_hplink">I Make Shiny Things</a>)
I Support Same Sex Marriage T-Shirts-
Amidst the dealings of Proposition 8 in 2008, Urban Outfitters began selling shirts that said, "I Support Same-Sex Marriage." The shirts were pulled a week later. (Courtesy photo)
Hailey Clauson T-Shirt
Model Hailey Clauson posed for photographer Jason Lee Parry when she was just 15-years old. Parry released this photo of Clausen to Urban Outfitters, which he had agreed not to release when the young model's agency complained about the salacious nature of the "crotch shot" pose. The photo became a t-shirt and Clauson sued Urban Outfitters and Parry for damaging her reputation. (Courtesy photo)
In 2003, Urban Outfitters began selling a Monopoly knockoff called Ghettopoly, complete with "Hustle" bonus cards and "Smitty's XXX Peep Show." The game angered the African-American community and Rev. Glenn Wilson of Philadelphia called for a boycott, saying, "There's no way that game could be taken in any way other than that this man had racist intent in marketing it." (Courtesy photo)
Vote For Vodka & USA Drinking Team T-Shirts
Although Urban Outfitter's biggest demographic is 18-24 year-olds, the company is selling shirts that encourage underage drinking. Jan Withers, national president of Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says, "Kids shouldn't be wearing these t-shirts...Marketing [alcohol-related products] to teens is not in any way acceptable." (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/urban-outfitters-drinking-t-shirts_n_1836859.html?utm_hp_ref=style" target="_hplink">Urban Outfitters</a>)
In October 2011, Urban Outfitters offended Native Americans by describing some of their products as "Navajo." The Native American-inspired items received heat from the Navajo Nation, whose attorney general sent the store a cease-and-desist letter. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/urban-outfitters_n_1022663.html">Urban Outfitters</a>)