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Primark removes show’s T-shirts from stores featuring ‘racist’ slogan

It was in the first week in May 2014 that Jeremy Clarkson found himself in hot water yet again, after he was heard allegedly reciting the children’s’ rhyme from early Victorian times that was popularly used to pick a person from a group to perform a task, or be “it” in the game of tag. This rhyme contains a racist word that was commonly used in those times, but today, of course, it is considered to be insulting in the extreme and racist in context.

Now top International fashion retailer Primark has been “castigated” by fans of the American horror drama television series “Walking the Dead” for removing T shirts which displayed the rhyme “eeny meeny miny moe” emblazoned across it along with a bloodied baseball bat. The rhyme is, of course, not displayed in full, but of course we all know what the original said and it was chanted by millions of children.

We can be sure that Primark displayed the T shirt in all innocence, although probably ill-advised, as it was clearly anxious to “cash in” on the popularity of the show. In the series during the season 6 finale of the zombie show, this saw a character Negan recite the rhyme whilst brandishing a bat looped with razor wire. The T shirt was removed from sale by Primark following a complaint by shopper Ian Lucraft, who lodged a formal complaint about the “explicit” message after spotting it in a branch in Sheffield. He told the local newspaper, The Sheffield Star: “It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no-one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.

Not everyone is happy with the decision taken by Primark though; social media has seen fans of the show displaying anger at the decision with comments such as: “If you find this t shirt ‘racist’ you’re part of the problem.” “Fanatically racist”, come off it! Someone needs to get off their soap box”. Another angry comment suggested that: “If the walking dead T-Shirt is racist then Jingle Bells is offensive as Batman told me he does not smell & Robin did not lay an egg”.

Asked to comment Primark issued a statement which reads: “The T shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show”.

We imagine that the quote and the image may be alright in the eyes of a minority of some in the American Southern States, but not in 21st century UK.

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