Aldi pulls ‘racist’ T-shirts

Discount supermarket chain Aldi has been forced to remove Australia Day-themed T-shirts from their product range after facing a wave of criticism over a written slogan.

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Shirts and singlets bearing the slogan “Australia: Est. 1788” will no longer be offered for sale, a spokesperson for the store has confirmed, after a number of people spoke out on social media.

Critics called the $4.99 shirt “racist”, “wrong” and ignorant to Australia’s Indigenous history.

“This is historically wrong and racist,” wrote Twitter user Matt Mason.

“Yeah, this isn’t cool at all,” another wrote. “Australia Est. 1788? No. I recommend pulling that tee from shelves.”

A day after the first complaints were raised, an ALDI spokesperson confirmed via email that the shirts would no longer be offered for sale.

“The decision to remove the Australia Est. 1788 design from the range was taken following comments by a limited number of concerned customers,” they wrote.

“ADLI Australia wants its customers to know it puts the community and their wishes first.”

The shirts were being offered as part of a range designed to coincide with Australia Day on January 26.

‘No excuse’ 

Acting NSW opposition leader Linda Burney says the slogan used by Aldi is insensitive to Indigenous Australians.

 

“What astounds me is that someone had the stupidity and the lack of senstityity, and more importantly the level of ignorance, to actually design that and for ALDI to actually buy this and propose to sell it on Australia Day,”said Miss Burney.

“It’s kind of astounding that you have to have these discussions about something so inaccurate, so offensive and frankly quite racist.”

 

The creator of the @IndigenousX Twitter profile, Luke Pearson, also says the T-shirt is racist.

 

“These sorts of shirts have been around for a very long time and promote the same sort of misinformation every year, so it’s disappointing but far from a surprise,” said Mr Pearson.

 

Mr Pearson says Aldi’s reason to recall the items is unacceptable.

 

“That just seems odd to me because if they are so ‘limited’ then why would you bother because everything out there for sale has someone that doesn’t like it for sale and knowing about it, so I I find that a very half-hearted explanation for why it’s gone,” said Mr Pearson.

 

Miss Burney agrees that there is no excuse.

 

“What I say to Aldi and the management of Aldi, whether it be within Australia or internationally, is get people into your stores that make decisions about marketing and what’s going to be sold and commissioned to be sold, that have a true and proper understanding of the country that  they’re working in,” said Miss Burney.

Hey @ALDIAustralia this is historically wrong and racist. Remove them from sale. pic.twitter.com/hUNUjNcMVP

— Matt Mason (@MattM_RN) January 7, 2014

Shirts like these are why I fly my Aboriginal flag on #Australiaday “@alanvaarwerk: “est 1788″ yeh aldi i dunno m8 pic.twitter.com/vHBgP8KCH8”

— Aaron Nagas (@IndigenousX) January 7, 2014

@MattM_RN Apologies for any offense taken in regards to our Australia Day T-shirts. We have passed your feedback on. Thanks for the tweet.

— ALDI Australia (@ALDIAustralia) January 7, 2014

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