The online world has reacted strongly to what has been interpreted as offensive pictures and remarks from models at the opening of the first Hollister clothing store in South Korea.
Images of models making “squinty eyes” faces, flipping their middle finger to photographers, and mocking Asian pronunciation of English appeared on their Twitter accounts. Major Korean newspapers covered the scandal, as online comments called for a boycott and promised to return clothing they had bought. Other netizens have tracked down the models’ personal details and published them online.
Hollister had brought in four models for the marketing event that lasted from August 30 until September 2. 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 Gyeongbokkung Palace, squinting his eyes and making peace signs with his fingers. When one commenter remarked on how many Asians had liked the photo, he responded, “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!”
To make matters worse, it was discovered that a third model had flashed his middle finger during the photo session at the store opening and went on to post his own mocking photos on Twitter.
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; “Hollister Co. and its parent company Abercrombie & Fitch value diversity and inclusion. In a recent incident in South Korea, a couple of associates did not adhere to these values.
As a company, we do not tolerate inappropriate or offensive behavior. We terminated the associates involved as a result of their actions. On behalf of our more than 80,000 employees 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.”
Hollister has been facing other problems lately with its customers from bed bugs that led to the closing of their SoHo store in London to people getting lost at their Birginham store becasue it is very dimly lit!
WE SAID THIS: Seems that Hollister have their hands full with issues to take care of!