Amazon removed a controversial shirt and other items from a third-party seller after the products sparked outrage for including a shocking phrase about slavery.
The seller, Styleart, offered an entire line of products including T-shirts, tote bags, mugs and bibs that feature a picture of pyramids with the phrase, "Slavery Gets S**t Done." Following intense backlash and outrage across the internet, the company pulled the seller's products and issued a statement to People magazine.
"All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account," the statement read. "The products in question are no longer available."
The company's policy prohibits the sale of "products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views."
The outrage was almost immediate, with many saying they would boycott the company.
"How lovely is this?" one Twitter user wrote alongside a photo of one of the shirts. "A little while boy with a highly insensitive and ignorant 'Slavery Gets S**t Done' bib on. Hmm.. did they pick the cotton right amazon? Or no? Gotta love 2018, what a great start." She ended the post with a #BOYCOTTAMAZON hashtag.
"It makes me wonder about the mental faculties of the person who came up with the slogan, and Amazon who thought it was a great idea to sell them. All executives should be made to pay the financial cost of sending this clothing to recycling - and the 'designer' should chip in for a share too," a Daily Mail reader commented.
Some readers, however, attempted to defend the meaning behind the phrase on the products.
"Based on the pyramids on the shirts, it seems the designer was making the point the 99 percent are slaves and it's the only way anything gets done for the 1 percent. People automatically think this means a specific race when in reality, it's every one of them. The truth is upsetting when you finally realize they're speaking about you," one reader commented.
Many felt that the issue was particularly sensitive because of the fact that there are millions of people currently living in slavery.
"Children the same age as those modeling the T-shirts will be forced to work long hours for no pay in desperate conditions where starvation, beatings and sleep deprivation are common," David Westlake, chief executive at the International Justice Mission, told Reuters.
"Rather than trivializing slavery, companies and the global community must recognize the vast injustice of modern slavery and work together to end it for good."