(WBTW) – Retail giant Old Navy is under scrutiny after adding a t-shirt to its toddler clothing line that, some say is highly offensive to the creative community.
Many, like Laura Grundler (@GrundlerArt), took to Twitter to voice their disapproval for the shirt that displays the phrase, “Young Aspiring Artist,” only the word artist is marked out to be replaced with other occupations, like “president,” or “astronaut.”
Forbes reports the Gap Inc. Brand company pulled the shirts after an overwhelming amount of online backlash. Artist Mike Allebach posted to his photography website An Open Letter to Young Aspiring Artists (and Old Navy), saying, in part:
Those words hit me because I believe it’s hard work being an artist. Some how I want to believe the person who created it was trying to convey this. Or maybe I’m being kind and Old Navy just wanted to sell a design the helicopter parent demographic would buy.
One scroll through the comments on Old Navy’s Facebook page proves Allebach is not alone in his dislike of the design. Many Facebook users are reposting a design from artist Steve Ogden (@SteveOgdenArt), featuring career moves other than an “Old Navy Exec.”
Metro.co.uk notes a statement released by Old Navy regarding the shirt’s design:
At Old Navy we take our responsibility to our customers seriously. We would never intentionally offend anyone, and we are sorry if that has been the case. Our toddler tees come in a variety of designs including tees that feature ballerinas, unicorns, trucks and dinosaurs and include phrases like, “Free Spirit.” They are meant to appeal to a wide range of aspirations. With this particular tee, as a result of customer feedback, we have decided to discontinue the design and will work to remove the item from our stores.