Amazon’s U.K. arm has pulled a number of t-shirts produced by the company “Solid Gold Bomb” after they were found to be promoting rape and violence against women.
Twitter and social media erupted with criticism for both companies, but while profusely apologetic, Solid Gold Bomb says it wasn’t really their fault.
Apparently no one ever actually sat down and wrote the offensive slogans — they were computer-generated. Not only that, but they were never physically produced unless someone ordered them, and it’s a safe bet that not too many people requested such shirts.
Solid Gold Bomb explained on Facebook (screen shot via the U.K. Daily Mail):
The company’s founder, Michael Fowler, explained on Solid Gold Bomb’s website that he decided to make humorous t-shirts modifying the “Keep Calm and Carry on” slogan from World War II about a year ago.
He created a database filled with common words, which were mixed and matched and made into shirts. As the database grew and the permutations of “words/slogans/styles/colours/sizes” grew “well into the millions,” he had a computer randomly generate the combinations.
“As a father, husband, brother and son, I would never promote such product in our company and it was clear to see this when looking across the millions of t-shirts that we offer or can produce on demand…Again, this was never my intention and I am extremely sorry for the trouble this carelessness has caused.”
Amazon’s spokesman in Britain Ben Howes has reasssured CNN that the offensive garments have bee pulled, saying: “I can confirm that those items are not available for sale.”
But the damage has already been done in some circles.
The deputy Labour leader in the U.K. Harriet Harman said Amazon should consider making a “substantial donation” to a women’s shelter as an apology for selling the shirts on its website.
“Domestic violence and sex offences are not something people should make money out of,” she told The Independent.
Newsy has more on the story: