Abercrombie & Fitch has been called on the carpet in the past for its advertising, but the teen-focused clothier is blameless when it comes to the Twitter-storm that landed on the company Thursday (March 21).
Here’s what happened. Apparently, the website abercrombie-and-fitchoutlet.com listed a pair of cargo pants described as “N***** Brown.” But the site is bogus — it’s registered in China and doesn’t even sell real A&F gear — just knock-offs.
But, reports Gawker, the racial slur may not have been intentional. This has happened before and, in that case, a Chinese-to-English translation program was to blame.
They cite this reference from Snopes:
“A Chinese software company, Kingsoft Corp., acknowledged its translation program was at fault. When the Chinese characters for “dark brown” are typed into an older version of its Chinese-English translation software, the offensive description comes up.”
Still, scads of tweets continue to fault A&F for the slur.
“Abercrombie & Fitch has always been a racist company,” reads one tweet.
Somewhere a well-paid legal department is springing into action.