Topman has withdrawn two T-shirts from sale amid claims that they are sexist and that one made fun of domestic violence.
One of the T-shirts features a list of excuses for doing something wrong, which many posters on Facebook and Twitter perceived to be hitting a woman. Its slogan reads: “I’m so sorry, but … You provoked me; I was drunk; I was having a bad day; I hate you; I didn’t mean it; I couldn’t help it.”
On Topman’s Facebook page Marie Horner, who set up the STopman group on the site in protest, posted: “Promoting the excuses that men use to get away with abusing women is clearly wrong, whether it’s on a T-shirt or not.”
Another Facebook user, Mel Parkin, added: “Many woman and children flee for their lives every year from domestic violence. It’s very poor taste to promote it.”
The slogan on the other T-shirt reads: “Nice new girlfriend – what breed is she?”
Bella Mackie, who works for the Guardian, tweeted: “Seriously, comparing women to dogs? Classy.”
Topman, which is part of the billionaire Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, has withdrawn the T-shirts from sale and apologised for any offence caused by the designs.
“We have received some negative feedback regarding two of our printed T-shirts. Whilst we would like to stress that these T-shirts were meant to be light-hearted and carried no serious meaning, we have made the decision to remove these from store and online as soon as possible.”We would like to apologise to those who may have been offended by these designs.”
Both T-shirts are now listed as “out of stock” on Topman’s online store.
But the statement provoked further criticism online, with a Facebook user, Helen Highwater, stating on Topman’s page: “There’s nothing ‘funny’ or ‘light-hearted’ about casual misogyny or domestic abuse.”