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Mixed Messages: Urban Outfitters Pulls Same-Sex Tee, Responds to Criticism

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Urban Outfitters pulled 'I Support Same-Sex Marriage' tees off the shelves in LA last week, which caused customers to question its political stance, considering Urban Outfitters founder Richard Hayne's right-wing leaning and donations. Today, The Cut posts a response from an UO spokesperson:

"The T-shirt was pulled because it was not selling...This is a common practice because sales space is so valuable, especially in this challenging economic climate...The move was in no way indicative of a political agenda or our personal beliefs. In retrospect we wish that we had held onto it as a show of support...We wouldn't bring back the same T-shirt because it didn't sell well. But the head merchant is open to finding other products that support gay marriage and carry the same message but will be more popular with our customers."

The spokesperson also confirmed that "Glen Senk, the CEO of the parent company, Urban Outfitters, Inc., is an openly gay man who has been in a committed relationship for over 30 years." The blog ponders optimistically that maybe Senk's position denotes some sort of change in Hayne, that he was hired strictly for his merits rather than "to divert attention from Hayne." Hayne's best friend may not be gay, but his CEO is, a variation on that trusty favorite defense of any sort of discriminatory act.
· Urban Outfitters Responds to Controversy From Yanking Same-Sex T-shirt [The Cut/NY Mag]
· Mixed Messages: Why Did Urban Outfitters Pull a T-Shirt Supporting Gay Marriage? [Racked]