Firm sorry for ‘Keep Calm and Rape’ shirts
SYDNEY - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS PhotoA t-shirt company has issued an apology for advertising tops with slogans such as “Keep Calm and Rape A Lot” and “Keep Calm and Kill Her,” with its founder saying on March 7 that the firm may go under.
Solid Gold Bomb said the offensive lines were created via an automated computer process which relied on online dictionaries to create the versions of the slogans based on the British World War II motto “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
“I apologize for the offensive response this has created across the world,” Solid Gold Bomb’s Australian founder, Michael Fowler, said on the firm’s website after the shirts advertised on Amazon unleashed outrage. “No words can express how I feel about what has occurred and in no way do I condone or promote this serious issue.”
Fowler told The Sydney Morning Herald that Amazon was his company’s main distribution channel and since the scandal broke, sales had dropped from 300 to 1,700 orders per day to as low as three in a single day. “It’s devastating. The majority of our sales stopped,” Fowler told the paper, adding that he may have to shut down the company. “The only real sales channel we currently have is our own website.”
The firm’s Facebook and Twitter pages have been deleted after a torrent of abuse, he added. Fowler said he had never intended to create offensive t-shirts, but he took responsibility for producing the computer script that harnessed online dictionaries and other resources to generate the slogans.