Target, the massive retailer, wants to be a welcoming place for all shoppers around the country. But as they attempt to push boundaries and be edgy and trendy, they inevitably step on some toes and offend some people. And during the holiday season, they did it again with one of their Christmas sweaters. And instead of offending a religious group, they created a sweater that mocked the pain and suffering endured by people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When the store flooded their shelves with a sweater that had the phrase, “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” written on the front, people who suffer from OCD quickly pointed out how offensive this was.
And they were quick to go to social media and lambast the mega-retailer for offending a sensitive group of people. And those who felt attacked were not afraid to come forward and say so.
“As someone with OCD, I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t sell my illness as a fashion statement,” Twitter user Reign Murphy tweeted to caption a photo herself holding up the sweater.
Other people joined the conversation and told Target that they were not pleased with the offensive Christmas sweater.
And then they started accusing the retailer of mocking people with a “serious mental illness.”
Another person tweeted, “Today at Target I saw a sweater that said ‘OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder’…why is trivializing a mental disorder so widely accepted?”
When the backlash became too great, Target responded with an apology. But they refused to remove the offensive sweater from their shelves, because, as you know, all publicity is good publicity, even when the retailer is getting it for mocking people with a mental illness.
“We never want to disappoint our guests, and we apologize for any discomfort,” Target spokesman Josh Thomas said in a statement reported by New York Daily News. “We currently do not have plans to remove this sweater.”
Target has sold offensive clothing before. They have sold “building sets” and “girl’s building sets” implying that females are not allowed to build things unless they have a different set.
The retailer was also blasted for selling a women’s T-shirt with the word “Trophy” plastered across the front where the woman’s breasts would be. And that shirt became a hot issue with thousands of people petitioning for its removal.
“The truth is that millions of women and young girls are taken as ‘trophies’ every year in war, sex trafficking, slavery, and rape,” the petition said, Time reported. “Labeling any person as a ‘Trophy’ is demeaning their humanity and objectifying them as a tangible object that can be bought, used, and disposed of.”
Target was forced to backtrack following the “Trophy” controversy that belittled women and sexualized them.
They released the following apology statement:
“It is never our intention to offend anyone. These shirts are intended as a fun wink, and we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests.”
Target struggles to get through a season without offending someone. Do you think Americans have gotten too thin skinned or should Target rein back their efforts?