Retail chain T.J. Maxx is apologizing for stocking a t-shirt that caused a firestorm on social media. Why all the outrage? Probably something to do with the noose graphic positioned right by the neckline and the rather blue “Hang Loose” text surrounding it. Yeah, probably that and not the piles of clothing-chaos-mess that I always see in T.J. Maxx. After the barrage of complaints and an official apology, the shirt was yanked from stores:
“At T.J. Maxx, we take product matters very seriously and appreciate that this T-shirt has been brought to our attention. As soon as we became aware of the offensive T-shirt message, we initiated the process to remove this item from our stores and are internally reviewing how we inadvertently purchased the item. We would like to apologize to our customers for any concern this may have caused.”
Maybe not everyone is that offended by this shirt, though it’s easy to see why people would be. For one thing, suicide is a sad and serious issue among all age groups (see: Robin Williams), but has been hitting bullied teens — especially those who identify as LGBTQ — considerably hard. So, that could make people feel a little icky.
But most of the negative response is related to the recent video of the SAE fraternity’s racist chant about lynching, to say nothing of how people still seem to think joking about lynching is hilarious.
So it’s not hard to understand that a nation full of people feeling a bit raw from really upsetting stories about hangings might not be into (literal) gallows humor right now.