ADL Asks Urban Outfitters to Discontinue Insensitive New Mexico T-shirt
Albuquerque, NM, July 21, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today asked the Philadelphia-based retailer Urban Outfitters to discontinue the t-shirt in their current line bearing the message "New Mexico, Cleaner than Regular Mexico".
In a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne, Barry Morrison, Philadelphia ADL Regional Director, expressed his concern that the message is offensive. "It is an inappropriate and unnecessary disparagement of that country, and people identified with the country should not be subjected to this type of ridicule and debasing reference."
Morrison asked that Urban Outfitters discontinue this item and remove any existing stock. He also wrote that the company seems to have continuing problems regarding racial, religious and ethnic sensibilities, suggesting that Urban Outfitters "seriously consider undertaking diversity training of your personnel."
Susan Seligman, ADL New Mexico Director noted, "Insensitivity is never in style. It is unfortunate that Urban Outfitter's design and marketing teams think being offensive is a fashion statement."
In January 2004, Urban Outfitters discontinued production of a t-shirt that perpetuated an ethnic stereotype of Jews. The shirt featured the language, "Everyone Loves A Jewish Girl," surrounded by dollar signs and shopping bags.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.