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Tesco Apologises For 'Racist' Children's Mermaid T-Shirt

Tesco Apologises For 'Racist' Children's Mermaid T-Shirt

Tesco has been forced to apologise after a customer complained about a 'racist' children's t-shirt.

Kate Wells was shopping at a store in Dover on Friday (7 August) when she spotted the item in the clothing aisle.

The t-shirt shows the picture of the mermaid from the popular children's book 'That's Not My Mermaid', which also includes the caption 'her hair is too fluffy'.

Speaking to Kent Live about the controversial piece of clothing, Ms Wells said: "We were walking down the main middle aisle and we saw the set from a distance. I got excited because diversity in clothing is particularly rare.

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"I read the text on the shirt and was really shocked. It's not something any child should read on a t-shirt, and it perpetuates a stereotype - it's racism.

Ms Wells added that it was vital for all 'children' to see themselves represented properly, saying: "Tesco needs to do better. They clearly need to diversify their purchasing team and be aware of this.

"It is not a new issue, especially with all that has been in the media recently, ignorance is not an excuse anymore. It makes me feel so sad and angry that this is how black children are growing up.

The t-shirt is based on a children's book. Credit: Kent Live
The t-shirt is based on a children's book. Credit: Kent Live
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"All children deserve to see themselves in children's clothing, books and toys so that they know they are valued and celebrated. Bigger retailers like Tesco have the power to make these things happen, so why aren't they?

"It is not acceptable and I would like them to remove this T-shirt from sale in all of their stores."

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Since the complaint was made, Tesco has apologised for the offence caused and confirmed that it would not be stocking the t-shirt in the future.

A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: "We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that Tesco is a place where everybody is welcome and apologise for any offence caused.

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"We will not be purchasing any more orders of this product."

Primark removed a t-shirt back in 2017 after it caused offence. Credit: SWNS
Primark removed a t-shirt back in 2017 after it caused offence. Credit: SWNS

In 2017, Primark removed a Walking Dead t-shirt from its shops after customers complained about the emblazoned phrase 'eeny meeny miny moe' used on them.

The white t-shirts featured the slogan, used in the final episode of series six, beside a bloodied baseball bat covered in barbed wire.

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Shopper Ian Lucraft complained after coming across one of the shirts in a Sheffield Primark.

Speaking to the Sheffield Star, he said: "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 slogan is 'eeeny meenie miny moe'. It stops there, but of course we all know what the original said - 'catch a n***** by his toe'."

Featured Image Credit: Kent Live

Topics: UK News

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]