American Apparel is the latest retailer to be accused of racism cultural insensitivity. Is anyone really surprised anymore? In lieu of typical Halloween decor, the retail chain's East Houston location in New York City, the retailer—known for its hipster-approved threads and flagrant CEO—decided to go for something a little more left-field and placed faux African voodoo imagery in front of its store's sidewalk and in the shop's window.
The usage of the Fon iconography has been deemed "culturally insensitive" and has sparked an online petition on Change.org that currently has over 4,500 supporters.
The petition states:
"The Vodoun-themed window display, using faux sacred Fon iconography, is culturally insensitive, as it insinuates that a world religion that has been viciously and incorrectly maligned for centuries is 'spooky' and upholds the specious belief that African and African-derived religion and culture are 'seasonally appropriate' to sell Autumn/Halloween-inspired items."
American Apparel has a history of pushing the envelope into poor taste, and misappropriating cultures to make a shock statement seems to be in line with the store's typical behavior.