A group of Hollister models have been fired for posting racist pictures of themselves online while representing the brand at a new store opening in Yeouido, South Korea.
One of the all-American models – in a Hollister t-shirt, no less – used his fingers to make a ‘slanty-eyes’ face for the camera in front of a local tourist attraction. He then posted the picture on his personal Twitter account.
[Related article: Hollister makes Photoshop fails on Facebook image]
When a follower commented, “please look at how many Asians liked that picture... Impressive”, the model from the photo replied, “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv ittt!”, presumably attempting to represent a fake “Asian” accent.
In another image, a model posed with locals during the opening of the new store in Yeouido – but was covertly giving the middle finger to the camera, reported the Mail Online.
The incidents were first reported on the South Korean blog, KoreaBang. It said locals were offended when they found out, with one person commenting, “I've got to go and return the [Hollister] clothes that I bought.”
[Related article: Jean-Paul Guerlain fined for racist insults]Another wrote: “I feel like we must at the very least start a boycott of Hollister. How deep is their discrimination against Asians if they have no problem taking such pictures and uploading them to social media for a laugh?”
KoreaBang described the Hollister store openings as "robust foreign men dressed like lifeguards, wearing nothing on their chests but whistles", which seemed to stir up racism and sexism amongst the local community, if the comments were anything to go by.
Another element the presumably male commenters objected to were the Korean women who enjoyed posing and having their photo taken with the half-naked models as per a Hollister store opening.
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Responding to the criticism, Hollister told Yahoo!: “On behalf of our more than 80,000 associates around the world who cherish our core values and our culture of diversity and inclusion, we sincerely apologize for the offense caused by these unauthorized, ill-considered actions,” the company has since fired the employees responsible.
This isn’t the first time that Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister’s parent company, has been in trouble for discrimination.
In 2009, a Muslim employee sued the company after they allegedly discriminated against her for wearing a hijab.It seems unbelievable but perhaps even in 2012, Hollister needs to brief its models about appropriate behaviour in foreign countries…!