Lululemon apologizes after backlash over exec’s ‘bat fried rice’ shirt
Lululemon apologized Tuesday after a clueless executive promoted a T-shirt design for “bat fried rice” that drew accusations of anti-Asian sentiment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Senior global art director, Trevor Fleming, had shared a T-shirt on his Instagram page Sunday that showed a Chinese takeout box and pair of chopsticks with bat wings.
The apparel, which was being sold by California artist Jess Sluder under the name “bat fried rice,” was also promoted on her Instagram page for $60.
In a deleted post, Sluder showed off the “quarantee” saying, “Where did COVID-19 come from? Nothing is certain, but we know a bat was involved.”
The shirt caught the attention of critics who called out the design for promoting racism.
“There have been 100+ daily attacks on Asian Americans since the start of #COVID19,” wrote one user on Twitter along with photos of the T-shirt. “To see people adding to the hurt & racism hurts my heart.”
Responding to a customer on Instagram, Lululemon said that they “acted immediately, and the person involved is no longer an employee.”
“We want to apologize that an employee was affiliated with promoting an offensive t-shirt,” the brand said in another comment Tuesday morning. “We hold our values at our core and find the image and post inexcusable.”
The fitness apparel brand added that the controversial shirt was not its product.
Fleming and Sluder did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment.
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