Proving that they are equal-opportunity offenders, just a day after the Navajo Nation filed suit against Urban Outfitters for trademark infringement, the retailer has upset yet another group: The Irish.
The company’s St. Patrick’s Day-themed t-shirts and other items have rankled Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, the largest Irish American organization in the U.S., for depicting unflattering stereotypes of the Irish.
Crowley, with nine members of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs, sent a letter to the company asking it to stop selling the items, which include shirts that say “Irish I were drunk,” “I’m a drinker, not a fighter,” and a hat that says “Irish Yoga,” picturing a man on his knees vomiting.
“We understand that such items may have been created with the intent of good humor. And, as members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs, we know that Irish and Irish-Americans often revel in self-deprecating and blunt humor. However, we believe these items represent a step too far, crossing a line into stereotyping and denigration,” said the letter.
Seamus Boyle, of the Hiberians, went a step further: "There are those few who use this day as an excuse to over celebrate but that does not give you or anyone else the right to defame and debase a whole race of people by selling the garbage that you display in your stores."
We are seeking comment from Urban Outfitters and will post it when the company responds.
The Irish are a new population for Urban Outfitters to offend. Previous groups that have complained about what they say is the company’s lack of sensitivity include Jewish people, New Mexicans, Middle East bloggers, and members of the Navajo Nation. Check out a complete list of what some think is offensive clothing here.