In today's news of big brands in hot water, Zara put what appears to be an alt-right symbol on sartorial items, apparently (blissfully?) uninformed of said symbol.
That symbol is Pepe the Frog, which started out as an innocuous cartoon but was commandeered by neo-Nazis around September 2016, the LA Times reports. Now, the image is being displayed in the retailer's summer collection.
A design of the frog looks to be sewn into a jean skirt, evident in the tweet below:
This is bad pic.twitter.com/8a2cbx0T70— meagan ?? (@meaganrosae) April 18, 2017
Twitter, of course, is all over it.
In all fairness to Zara, many on the internet were also unaware that the cartoon meme was hijacked by the white supremacy movement.
How/when did Pepe the frog become the symbol for the alt-right movement?— Molly (@J_Bunnie) April 18, 2017
¿when did pepe the frog become neo-nazi propaganda? https://t.co/EDWsGNQS8l— li??y (@ElizeWhitney) April 18, 2017
can you still believe that pepe the frog was labelled as a hate icon— sarah • 102 (@cIoudsprout) April 18, 2017
pepe the frog is a hate symbol now? what has this world become??— hev (@cIarkbruce) April 18, 2017
So the PePe the frog thing is bad?— Johnny B Strokin (@PharaohGBS) April 18, 2017
And although Zara has come under fire for offensive and controversial clothing — such as the shirt alluding to the Holocaust — we may have to give the retailer the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Removing the clothing from Zara's summer lineup, however, may not be the most prudent move here. Perhaps leaving it available for the (sane) public to purchase means taking back the power entirely.
After all, Pepe the Frog originated as a harmless cartoon. It's only a representation of hate if we recognize it as such.
Banner/thumbnail: Flickr user Mike Mozart