Lululemon issues apology after former employee promotes "Bat Fried Rice" t-shirt

Apr 22 2020, 10:49 am

Lululemon has issued an apology after a former art director with the company promoted a racially offensive T-shirt that linked coronavirus to eating “bat fried rice.”

The shirt — called the “Bat Friend Rice Tee” — was designed by California artist Jess Sluder. It depicts an image of a traditional Chinese take-out box and chopsticks with bat wings and the words “No Thank You” on the sleeves.

A link for the product was then shared on the Instagram page of  Trevor Fleming, who worked as an art director for Lululemon at the time.

Sluder promoted the shirt as being part of his line of “limited edition #quarantees.”

“Where did COVID-19 come from? Nothing is certain, but we know a bat was involved,” wrote Sluder on Instagram.

Images of the t-shirt were shared across social media with many calling on Lululemon to take action against their employee for promoting the product.

In a statement, Lululemon said it “takes matters like this extremely seriously.”

“The t-shirt design is not a lululemon product. We apologize that an employee was affiliated with promoting an offensive t-shirt, and we take this very seriously,”  the company said.

“The image and the post were inappropriate and inexcusable and we do not tolerate this behavior. We acted immediately, and the person involved is no longer an employee of lululemon.”

The t-shirt has since been removed from Sluder’s website.

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