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Backlash after Primark pulls 'fantastically offensive' Walking Dead T-shirt

By Amelia Butterly
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightAMC

Primark has stopped selling a T-shirt featuring words from a nursery rhyme after a shopper complained that it was "fantastically offensive".

But now there's a backlash on social media, with some complaining it's an example of customers being "over-sensitive".

The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise from The Walking Dead.

It features the rhyme "eeny meeny miny moe", which has a racist origin.

image copyrightHandout

The tune has typically been used by children as a counting rhyme and some early versions of it included references to offensive terms for black people.

Along with the words, the T-shirt also features an image of a baseball bat and barbed wire.

The rhyme features in a scene in The Walking Dead when one character is deciding which person in a group they are going to kill.

"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," Primark said in a statement.

"Any offence caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologises for this.

"Primark has removed the product from sale."

image copyrightGetty Images

Customer Ian Lucraft, who complained about the top to Primark, and his wife Gwen had been in a Sheffield branch of the store when they spotted the item of clothing.

"We were shocked when we came face to face with a new T-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text," he told The Sheffield Star.

"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."

But others have criticised Primark for removing the item from sale.

Some still support the retailers decision.

Other versions of the T-shirt remain on sale by online retailers.

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  • Life
  • Racism
  • Primark