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People passing near Yonge and Gould streets look up at an American Apparel store billboard in Toronto. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
People passing near Yonge and Gould streets look up at an American Apparel store billboard in Toronto. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Now Trending: American Apparel apologizes after posting insensitive photo of Challenger disaster Add to ...

TOO SOON

American Apparel has learned the hard way that the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster remains fresh in the minds of the general public.

As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the clothing company has issued a profound apology for posting a stylized picture of the Challenger explosion onto its Tumblr page earlier this week.

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On Jan. 28, 1986, the Challenger shuttle broke apart 73 seconds into its planned flight, taking the lives of seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, who was on the mission as a payload specialist.

The photograph capturing the moment that the Challenger shuttle exploded has become one of the most haunting news photos of the 20th century.

On Thursday, a photoshopped version of the photograph, which set the doomed Challenger’s smoke plumes against a vivid red background, went up on American Apparel’s Tumblr page, presumably in consort with the July 4 holiday weekend in the United States.

The edited image was tagged as “Smoke Clouds.”

Within moments of the picture’s posting, several Tumblr users immediately pointed out the company’s insensitive gaffe.

Said one commenter: “This is the iconic image of the Challenger space shuttle exploding. Not just some cool smoke and clouds.”

American Apparel quickly removed the offending image late Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday night, the Twitter account for American Apparel sent out an apology for the mistake.

The mea culpa: “We deeply apologize for today’s Tumblr post of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The image was re-blogged in error by one of our international social media employees who was born after the tragedy and was unaware of the event.”

The apology closes with, “We sincerely regret the insensitivity of that selection and the post has been deleted.”

The American Apparel blunder comes only two weeks after the company ousted its Canadian-born founder and CEO Dov Charney amid allegations of misspending and charges of sexual harassment.

And while Charney can truthfully say the Challenger gaffe didn’t happen on his watch, it’s worth pointing out that this wasn’t the first instance of American Apparel offending consumers.

On Oct. 30, 2012, while Hurricane Sandy was tearing up most of U.S. East Coast, the retailer sent out an e-mail blast stating, “In case you’re bored during the storm. 20 per cent off everything for the next 36 hours.”

As should have been expected, social-media reaction to American Apparel’s sales promotion was immediate and harshly negative.

Disgruntled e-mail recipient Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) pretty much summed up the general response with her tweet: “I just received a ‘Hurricane Sandy sale’ e-mail blast from American Apparel. I will forever boycott their stores.”

FLYING HIGH

The Federal Aviation Agency has cleared Justin Bieber in connection to his infamous “weed flight” earlier this year. The FAA confirmed to E! News that it has closed its investigation into suspected marijuana use by the Canadian pop star on a private jet he took to New Jersey for the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Bieber and his ever-present entourage were detained for several hours at Teterboro Airport while authorities searched the plane. According to one source, the marijuana smoke on-board during the flight was so thick that the plane’s pilots and crew were forced to don oxygen masks.

Source: E!

SISTER ACT

Are rappers Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea really engaged in a bitter feud? Not according to Nicki. Rumours that the two hated each other were everywhere after Minaj delivered a cryptic acceptance speech at last Sunday’s BET Awards. Said Minaj: “When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,” which prompted some to speculate she was taking a dig at Azalea, who has been rumoured to work with ghostwriters and was Minaj’s primary competition in the BET rap category. Earlier this week, Minaj addressed the controversy with her tweet stating, “The media puts words in my mouth all the time and this is no different. I will always take a stance on women writing b/c I believe in us!”

Source: CNN

NO MEAT

Chris Martin is no longer a vegetarian. The Coldplay frontman, who was named 2005 Sexiest Vegetarian by PETA, has revealed that he’s no longer subsisting on a meat-free diet following his split with wife Gwyneth Paltrow. During a recent interview on BBC Radio 2, Martin told host Steve Wright, “Well, I eat meat. I was vegetarian for quite a long time and then for various reasons I changed.” In the same interview, Martin said, “I don’t know why on earth we’re talking about this. I’ve got to stop talking. This will be some kind of headline.”

Source: Us

BIG FINISH

Colombian superstar Shakira and hip-hop icon Wyclef Jean will perform at the World Cup closing ceremony in Brazil. In her third World Cup performance, Shakira is scheduled to perform La la la (Brazil 2014) with Brazilian artist Carlinhos Brown at the July 13 ceremony at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janiero. The Haitian-born Jean will duet with Brazilian singer Alexandre Pires on Dar Um Jeito, a.k.a. the World Cup theme song.

Source: Huffington Post

REST IN PEACE

Gold Rush mainstay James Harness has passed away at 57. The Discovery Channel confirmed the realty star’s passing this week, but declined to provide the cause of death. Harness was a mechanic on the first two seasons of the popular reality series chronicling miners searching for gold in Alaska, the Klondike and Guyana. Harness left the show after its second season due to a debilitating back injury.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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