Primark has withdrawn a T-shirt with a nursery rhyme on the front – Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe – alongside a baseball bat with barbed wire wrapped around it; this references Negan’s Lucile bat from The Walking Dead – alongside the quotation used in the show.
This has brought controversey, as “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” is of racist origin, although many children today still use it as a counting rhyme, but early versions of it referred to offensive terms.
Ian Lucraft, who had been in a Sheffield branch when he noticed the T-shirt, immediately complained to Primark. In an interview with The Sheffield Star, Ian said the following about the shirt:
“We [Ian and his wife] were shocked when we came face to face with a new T-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text,”
“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.
The graphic has a large American baseball bat, wrapped round with barbed wire, and covered with blood. This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America.
“It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.”
Primark soon responded to the complaint:
“The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the US television series, The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show,”
“Any offence caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologises for this.
“Primark has removed the product from sale.
However, despite this, many people on Social Media have critiscised the move, adding that it was “exactly what was in the show” and that it wasn’t racially offensive. The T-shirt, withdrawn from every Primark store, can still be found online.