'The Knockin 'Em Down Tour': Shirt listing celebrities accused of sexual misconduct feeling backlash
Meg Shops’ top parodies a concert T-shirt, listing men who lost employment due to sexual misconduct allegations alongside the date they lost employment.
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A business that specializes in selling women’s clothing is facing online backlash for offering a shirt that lists celebrities who lost their jobs after sexual misconduct allegations, amid claims that it’s profiting off alleged victims and that the product is in bad taste.
Meg Shops, which says on its website that its merchandise is “for women, by women,” is selling a top that parodies a concert T-shirt by listing famous men, with the date they lost their jobs next to it.
Figures like Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Donald Trump (his date is “TBA”) are part of the “Knockin ’Em Down Tour.”
The list is on the back of the shirt, while the front says “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Roslyn Talusan, an activist who advocates against sexual violence, called the shirt “callous.”
“These men being finally held accountable after decades of abuse isn’t something to commemorate or celebrate,” she told the Star. “It’s something to be ashamed about.”
Ten dollars from the sale of each shirt will go to the New York Alliance Against Sexual Assault and Women’s Support Network of York Region, according to the Meg Shops website. But Talusan said she doesn’t think it absolves the business of what she considers making light of a serious issue.
“As a survivor myself I’d just feel angry if I saw someone wearing this,” she said.
Meg Shops management didn’t immediately comment when contacted by the Star.
But according to an employee at the Meg store on Queen St. W. in Toronto, many people will be wearing the shirt.
“They are very popular, we’ve actually sold out,” said Enza, an associate at the store who didn’t share her last name. “Even husbands have come in and purchased for the whole family, they’re asking for kids’ sizes.”
When Meg Shops tweeted about the shirt, many of the online responses were negative.
“This gave me chest pains, this isn’t a basketball team,” one person tweeted.
“This is in such bad taste. How about we don’t capitalize off of the trauma and pain of survivors?” another person said.
Regarding the shirt’s critics, Enza said customers who come into the store are free to donate without purchasing it.
Talusan said the donations are a good thing, but remains critical of the shirt.
“If they wanted to support survivors, they should’ve just donated money to the organization without capitalizing off it,” she said. “Survivors can’t do sh-- with a trendy T-shirt. Living with trauma is a slow death sentence.”
The website for Meg Shops says there are six locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Toronto and that the brand’s mission is to empower women through fashion and to impact communities by stocking women-owned accessory brands and fundraising for causes such as Planned Parenthood.