A company is selling t-shirts with the slogan ‘Keep Calm And Rape Them’ emblazoned across the chest on Amazon.
The online clothing store, Solid Gold Bomb, sells the short-sleeved t-shirts for between £15 and £17 on the warehouse website.
But potential customers are clearly not willing to buy the deeply offensive t-shirts, slamming both Amazon and the clothes shop, which has its headquarters in the UK.
Amazon users are furious that the product is being sold and called the tops ‘disgusting’
Users branded the shop and its message ‘disgusting’ and ‘disturbing’.
But on Solid Gold Bomb’s Facebook page, someone wrote under the company name that they had ‘no idea’ that the message was printed and said it had been computer generated.
On the same Facebook page, it shows people who appear to be employees, apparently hand-printing other t-shirts – although it is unclear whether this is the process for every shirt.
They posted a variety of responses to Facebook users, saying they had deleted the product and saying that the message had been generated from the dictionary.
Andrew Banks wrote: ‘I’m disgusted by this product, and can think of no good reason for such a slogan. That someone thought it was a good idea disturbs me somewhat.’
Devin wrote: ‘You guys are kidding with this shirt’s slogan, right? In what universe is that shirt remotely acceptable in civilized society? Gross.’
Most users demanded answers from both the creators and Amazon: ‘In what society is this even acceptable? and why is Amazon listing these? there is no possible justification including a misplaced sense of irony for wearing a Tshirt with this message on it.’
NinetyWt wrote: ‘I am sick and tired of the perpetuation of rape culture. Can you not think for one second about how assault victims feel when seeing something like this ‘rape them’ T-shirt? Can you not see how this contributes to the view that it’s okay to rape other people!? This is not the kind of product I expect to see on Amazon. Vile and disgusting.’
User Steel Ranger said: ‘That’s advocation of abuse and criminal behaviour. Do you really want to get shut down that badly?! I am ASHAMED of you, Amazon! How dare you exploit a felonious, heinous act. Take that damnable thing down before someone brings the law against you! If I do not see it removed, I shall boycott and spread the word.’
Others were outraged that Amazon would allow such a product to be sold, and told them to ‘pay their taxes’ – a reference to the probe into the sprawling business’ tax payments, which came under scrutiny last year.
‘It takes time for them to be deleted.
‘I was the person responsible for running the script that generated the t-shirt, not the company, not any other individuals.
‘I appreciate everyone’s comments but please, accept this as a mistake as we certainly do not condone “rape”…’
Twitter users vented their fury that the t-shirts ‘promote rape’ and also poke fun at the serious sexual assault.
Angry users urged others to email the clothes shop and Amazon to express their disgust and demands that it be removed from sale.
The message has experienced a boom in popularity in recent years, and sparked a trend in shops producing products such as tea-towels, posters and cushions, bearing the slogan, or a play on it.
Solid Gold Bomb, who produce the t-shirts, was created and launched from Melbourne, Australia, and describes itself as a ‘small global t-shirt company’.
They write on their website about their range: ‘We managed to list our Keep Calm and Carry On parody series on the site.
‘Bake On, Beat On and Teach On are Proving Very Popular! Rock On!’
Amazon’s sale policies say that in terms of offensive material: ‘Amazon reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of listings posted to our site.’
It says its policy concerning nudity and pornography: ‘In general, images that portray nudity in a gratuitous or graphic manner are prohibited.
‘Amateur pornography, pornography, X-rated movies, and hard-core material including magazines are also prohibited.’
The following standard reply is now on their website:
Thanks for your interest in contacting us. We have been informed of the fact that we were selling an offensive t-shirt primarily in the UK. This has been immediately deleted as it was and had been automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against 100s of thousands of dictionary words.
Any offensive items that are remaining are certainly in the deletion queue and will be removed as soon as the processing is complete. Although we did not in any way deliberately create the offensive t-shirts in question and it was the result of a scripted programming process that was compiled by only one member of our staff, we accept the responsibility of the error and our doing our best to correct the issues at hand.
We’re sorry for the ill feeling this has caused! We’re doing our best here to fix the problem.