Monkey T with African American boy’s face on it causes stir


Stacy-Ann Gooden

posted in Mom Stories

It’s no surprise that some of the cutest kid clothes are ones that feature animals on them. But, it came as a total shock to some when a photo of a monkey paired with a picture of a black child was uploaded on Twitter. It has since sparked controversy on the web.

Many consider the cardboard cutout and primate combination to be highly offensive.

I first came across the t-shirt while browsing through The New York Daily News. I reached out to the company that makes the shirt, Just Add a Kid, to get their side of the story.

According to the San Diego owner, Lowell Cohen, this has all been a complete misunderstanding.

“We built this company five years ago to put smiles on peoples faces. Our goal is to reach out to all cultures. We want to create an atmosphere of unity,” he said.

The clothing company features different cartoon bodies paired with various ethnicities. Lowell said the monkey t-shirt was never meant to be matched with the African American boy. After visiting various store locations to further investigate, he learned that someone unaffiliated with the ‘Just Add a Kid’ brand and the store carrying the merchandise decided to swap the cutouts.

According to Lowell, the shirt featuring the ape was originally paired with a Caucasian child, and has always been the best selling t-shirt. However, despite its popularity, he has decided to discontinue the t-shirt to prevent this from happening again. As for whether or not, this incident has hurt sales, Lowell says:

“It’s hard to say if we have been adversely affected. Our client base is very loyal to our product. We have very high standards within our company. It shows through our performance. We are looking to GROW not go!”

It’s understandable why people would find the shirt offensive. It does have a racist connotation. However, what’s even sadder is that there are pranksters out there that think this sort of thing is funny.

I took to Facebook to get peoples’ take on the overall message of the t-shirt. While most found it offensive, there were some who saw nothing wrong with it. It begs the question, are people being too sensitive? Would the t-shirt be offensive if it were a white child?

What are your thoughts on the t-shirt? Should the store owner discontinue the shirt?

Photo: Stacy-Ann Gooden

Stacy-Ann Gooden (aka Weather Anchor Mama) can be seen delivering the weather on the news weeknights in New York City. But her most important role is being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog, Weather Anchor Mama. You can also follow her on twitterPinterest, and Instagram.

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