Spanish fashion retailer Zara has pulled off the shelves a shirt resembling uniforms worn by Jewish concentration camp inmates. Zara has apologized for selling a striped T-shirt with a yellow six point star that brought so much criticism upon them.
According to Zara, the garment is advertised online as a striped “sheriff” T-shirt, and was inspired by “the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films.”
In response to outraged tweets, Zara said on Twitter, “We honestly apologize.”
Zara’s parent company, Inditex, issued a press release that announced that the offensive item was removed from Zara stores and its website. The item had only been on sale for a few hours, when the company pulled it, saying the reason was “due to the potential similarity with the Star of David.”
The company described the sales of the shirt as “marginal” and said the remaining products would be “destroyed.”
Inditex press release stated, “Inditex would like to reiterate its utmost respect for all cultures and religions. The Group is a Company where people from 180 nationalities work together representing all the cultures, races and religions of the modern world. Inditex is proud of its cultural diversity. In addition, respect and dignity feature among the principles which guide and define its corporate values. The Group condemns and rejects any form of discrimination.”
According to the World Jewish Congress, which was one of the many groups that spoke out against the garment on social media, this is not the first time Zara has caused outrage with controversial imagery. In 2007, a line of handbags had to be withdrawn by Zara from Britain stores, after complaints rose over the design featuring Nazi swastikas.
In a statement, the World Jewish Congress said, “The bag had been produced in Asia, however, where the symbol also carries ancient cultural significance.”
The Anti-Defamation League called the shirt “deeply offensive” and said they would welcome its removal. In a statement the group said, “The shirt emblazoned with the yellow star is in poor taste and is deeply offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors. To anyone who knows their history, this kind of imagery should be off-limits. We welcome Zara’s recognition of the shirt’s potentially offensive imagery and removal from sale.”
“This is not the first time we have seen a retail clothing company making this same offensive mistake. The fact that this keeps happening shows that there is a serious need for education about the Holocaust and the history of anti-Semitism.”