'Rape' shirts spark controversy for Amazon

March 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM
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LONDON, March 2 (UPI) -- Amazon's British subsidiary say T-shirts advocating rape and domestic violence have been pulled from Amazon.co.uk.

The T-shirts, marketed by online retailer Solid Gold Bomb, featured slogans such as "Keep Calm And Rape" and "Keep Calm And Hit Her," Sky News reported.

A spokesman for Amazon U.K. told Sky News the shirts were no longer available on the website, saying: "I can confirm that those items are not available for sale."

However, the "Hit Her" shirt was still available as of Saturday on Amazon U.K., as well as on international versions of the site, including the one in Germany, Sky News said.

Other offensive shirts, including ones that say "Keep Calm And Grope On" and "Keep Calm And Grope A Lot" have been removed some the site, Sky News said.

Hundreds of users posted negative comments on Amazon and Twitter.

An online petition "Amazon: Stop Encouraging Gropers" was started in an effort to get Amazon to remove the shirts. Labor Parliament Member Roberta Blackman-Woods tweeted that "these amazon t shirts are terrible & we must speak out against them."

Labor deputy leader Lord Prescott also took to Twitter to speak out against the shirts: "First Amazon avoids paying UK tax. Now they're make money from domestic violence."

Solid Gold Bomb was bombarded with angry messages on Twitter, many of which said: "Rape is not a joke."

In response, Solid Gold Bomb said: "We're sorry for the ill-feeling this has caused! We're doing our best here to fix the problem."

"We have been informed of the fact that we were selling an offensive T-shirt primarily in the U.K.," the company said, explaining that, "This has been immediately deleted as it was and had been automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against 100s of thousands of dictionary words."

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