Abercrombie & Fitch is removing a line of T-shirts that sparked protests from Asian groups claiming they reinforced negative stereotypes, The Associated Press reported yesterday.
The T-shirts, some of which reportedly depict “smiling men with slanted eyes and conical hats,” will be pulled from all 311 stores nationwide, company spokesman Hampton Carney said.
“We're very, very, very sorry,'' he said. “It's never been our intention to offend anyone.''
Carney could not give the number of T-shirts that were in stores, or how much the recall would cost the New Albany, OH, firm. The shirts reportedly went on sale in some stores April 12 for $24.50. He also said they will be removed from the company's Web site.
“These graphic T-shirts were designed with the sole purpose of adding humor and levity to our fashion line,'' he said.
One of the company's T-shirts reads “Wong Brothers Laundry Service — Two Wongs Can Make It White.''
The T-shirts led to a meeting of Stanford University students on Wednesday. The Asian American Students' Association encouraged calls to the company and said Abercrombie & Fitch should apologize.
One shirt features a smiling Buddha figure with the slogan “Abercrombie and Fitch Buddha Bash — Get Your Buddha on the Floor.” Another reads, “Wok-N-Bowl — Let the Good Times Roll — Chinese Food & Bowling.”
Carney said the company received about 60 phone calls Wednesday regarding the shirts. The company makes fun of everyone, he said. He noted that prior clothing designs have included foreign waitresses, taxi drivers and Britons.