By Rebecca Adams, 9/9/12 (HuffingtonPost.com)
It looks like Hollister has a new problem on its hands. And, no, it's not another case of bed bugs or people getting lost in their dimly lit stores. This time, the mass retailer is facing racial discrimination accusations from their recently opened South Korea outpost.
For the grand opening of the first Hollister store in Korea in Yeouido, models dressed as lifeguards were flown in to take photos with customers -- you know, the same drill we get stateside. Something we don't see during the store openings here in the states? Models flipping their middle finger and mocking the customers. Lee Hyung-Ju described the offensive actions on the English Korean news site kor...:
"Images of models making 'squinty eyes' faces, flipping their middle finger to photographers, and mocking Asian pronunciation of English appeared on their Twitter accounts."
Hollister had brought in four models for the marketing event that lasted from August 30 until September 2, according to koreaBANG. But, customers soon discovered that a couple of the models had posted offensive pictures to their Twitter accounts. One photo features a Hollister model standing in front of Gyeongbok..., squinting his eyes and making peace signs with his fingers. When one commenter remarked on how many Asians had liked the photo,...
To make matters worse, it was discovered that a third model had flashed his middle finger during the photo sessio... and went on to post his own mocking photos on Twitter, according to koreaBANG. Local papers have been covering the controversy, and Korean customers have started to threaten boycotts. Hollister was quick to respond with an apology on their Facebook page:
"In summary, the company terminated the couple of associates involved. 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."
What do you make of this controversy? Would you boycott Hollister for something like this?
Honestly I think its awful and inexcusable. But the south korean media will do just about anything to sensationalize any form of racial discrimination toward them and excuse anything done to foreigners in their country. The kids from Hollister Uk here will keep buying that crap because they think its "famous" or whatever. You're answering a question that wasn't asked. This article deals with the bad behavior of Americans abroad.
If that's too threatening for you, and you need to change the topic to make it about the other guy, that's fine. But you might sound more credible if you would just acknowledge your refusal or incapacity to self-reflect on your own culture first, before claiming that two wrongs make a right.
Not really sure what you mean about your judgements about my incapacity to self reflect on "your own culture". What's my own culture? I live in the United States, so I reflect on the American culture as having racist traditions.
"Two wrongs make a right?" What are you talking about?
And do you live in South Korea? I don't watch South Korean media, so I can't call that one. There's no excuse for prejudice and racism. What happened is only a symptom from a company that does not promote racial diversity in it's marketing campaign nor it's hiring practices. A racist group think is the result.