Urban Outfitters Heeds Public Outrage, Pulls 'Jesus Dress Up'
by Rusty Pugh
March 24, 2004
(AgapePress) - After receiving a flood of complaints from angry Christians, a major clothing retailer has decided not to carry what one pro-family activist calls "the most blasphemous product" he has ever seen.
Urban Outfitters had begun selling a refrigerator magnet set called "Jesus Dress Up." The set included a magnetic Jesus on the cross and a variety of clothing and accessories that could be added to the magnet to depict Jesus wearing a variety of "costumes." The costumes included such items as a Satan mask, tights, a ballerina's dress, and a dogcatcher's outfit.
Randy Sharp, special projects director for the American Family Association (AFA), says there was immediate and widespread outrage over the fact "that Urban Outfitters would take a product that blasphemed Jesus Christ, that was very derogatory toward the Christian faith, and would make it part of their marketing scheme."
But the pro-family spokesman says the company went too far, and plenty of concerned individuals let the retailer know it. Within hours of AFA's action alert, thousands of people sent in e-mail to the company headquarters, expressing anger and concern over the offensive product.
"After receiving such an overwhelming negative response, Urban Outfitters has announced that they will no longer carry the Jesus Dress Up magnet set," Sharp says.
He notes that in a 48-hour period, Urban Outfitters received more than a quarter of a million e-mail complaints because of the action alert on the OneMillionMoms.com and OneMillionDads.com Internet sites, activism groups sponsored by AFA.
AFA chairman Don Wildmon says he is pleased that the company came to the same conclusion that his group had, that "marketing a product insulting to the Christian faith is not a wise business choice."
A spokesman for Urban Outfitters told OneMillionMoms/OneMillionDads that the clothing retailer will continue selling the inventory on hand, but will not reorder the Jesus Dress Up sets, and has cancelled a previous order for 2,500 more of the sets.