2 Mar 2013

Amazon removes offensive ‘Keep Calm and Hit Her’ T-shirts

Internet giant Amazon offered T-shirts which apparently encourage domestic violence – hours after it removed garments for sale by the same firm which advocate rape.

The discovery comes after the “Keep Calm And Rape A Lot” shirts, offered for sale by the Solid Gold Bomb company, were withdrawn following widespread criticism.

A spokesman for Amazon UK told Channel 4 News: “I can confirm that those items are not available for sale.”

However, although Amazon has withdrawn that item, it also offered shirts from the same firm that apparently advocate domestic violence.

One shirt for sale on Saturday morning was emblazoned with the message: “Keep Calm And Hit Her”.

Another for sale through Amazon said: “Keep Calm And Grope On”.

The Amazon UK site still offered

Both of these T-shirts were shortly removed from Amazon. However dozens of other variations are still on sale, some of which combine offensive messages – “Keep Calm and Choke Her”.

The company behind the T-shirts slogans says they are automatically generated by a programme that just creates varieties on the famous “Keep Calm and..” phrase.

Many of those on Amazon don’t make sense – but some combinations have created these offensive terms. A search on Amazon (below) shows an example of this.


Anger on Twitter

Critics of the T-shirts quickly let their feelings be known by posting dozens of negative comments on the relevant Amazon pages about the online retailer and the fashion company.

One said: “Do the decent thing and pull this disgusting item now. Remove all items by the same company to show them this will not be tolerated.”

Another online customer, Jody, said: “Your on a roll now Amazon. So not content with supporting and encouraging rape your also advocating violence against women.

“Domestic violence is a crime. Real men don’t beat there partners.”

Amazon listed the manufacturing quality as “Fine Jersey T-Shirt”, saying the items were made by American Apparel prior to printing in the US.

Immediately deleted

When Solid Gold Bomb withdrew the “rape” garment it also posted a statement on its website which said: “We have been informed of the fact that we were selling an offensive T-shirt primarily in the UK.

“This has been immediately deleted as it was and had been automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against 100s of thousands of dictionary words.”

Solid Gold Bomb said it received death threats and its Twitter account was bombarded with scores of angry messages – many of which said: “Rape is not a joke.”

Solid Gold Bomb replied: “We’re sorry for the ill-feeling this has caused! We’re doing our best here to fix the problem.”

It said the scripted programming process that created the slogan was compiled by “only one member of our staff”, but that it “accepted the responsibility of the error”.

Solid Gold Bomb said it sends its T-shirts from Worcester in Massachusetts to throughout the US, UK, Germany, Canada and 79 other countries daily.

Solid Gold Bomb has since removed its Twitter and Facebook accounts.