As we covered previously, WWE recently pulled two shirts from their online shop: Becky Lynch’s LASS KICKER design, and the overwrought GO GO ITAMI shirt. Only the male version of the first was pulled, while the entire set of designs for Hideo Itami were pulled down.
WWE’s reasoning for the pulling Itami’s design was that they, a multi-million dollar international company, had not actually proofed the Japanese characters on his shirt, and they did not mean what they were supposed to. No reason was given for pulling the Lynch shirt. As we pointed out, Itami’s shirt also featured use of the Japanese Imperial flag design, something that is still considered offensive to many people who live outside of comment sections and reddit threads. Becky Lynch’s shirt unfortunately made male wearers out to look like they were more-so fans of domestic violence than a kickass Irish lady in NXT, which, you know, is not exactly a risk you can ignore.
A few days ago, WWE re-released this version of Lynch’s shirt:
Yes, it’s still aesthetically offensive, but at least it ties male wearers to something positive.
Yesterday, WWE re-released this new version for Itami:
There is a slight difference in characters, but the Imperial flag design has been removed, and replaced with one referencing the current national flag. Any orders for the original shirt will be fulfilled with the current design, with the option to cancel your order should the new design be unsatisfactory to pre-order customers.
We get down on WWE for their seeming ignorance in matters like this, but we have to give them their due in this case. While the designs are still pretty ugly, there was a pretty quick turnaround time after recognizing customer complaints and the negative public attention they garnered. Small issues like this seem unimportant, but eradicating casual misogyny and racism is actually a bigger task than most think, especially those who remain unaffected by it in their daily lives. Again, people in their employ should still ask themselves if any designs they submit could be misconstrued or offensive because that is their actual job, but hey, every little bit helps, right?