Last month, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student Lauren Meyer was attacked for wearing an American Apparel "Legalize Gay" t-shirt. Now, AA's taken out a full-page ad (click to enlarge) decrying the violence. And, you know, selling some shirts. Synergy. [Queerty] UPDATED:
We received the following emails from American Apparel:
I'm not sure your post is accurate. First we're not selling t-shirts. If you actually read the ad we're offering to give them to any UWW students that want one. You can check with IMPACT that American Apparel has personally overnighted more than 1000 t-shirts to Whitewater and have more than 200 individual requests from students we're fulfilling now. All free and all the shipping costs paid by us. We ran out twice before the ad even appeared in the campus paper. Secondly, we don't have a store with an hour radius of the city nor do we plan to ever open one. If you can tell me how the above facts are good for sales then go for it. This is what American Apparel does and has a long history of doing and implying otherwise is deliberately disingenuous.
American Apparel gave UW Whitewater those Tshirts for FREE. So far over a thousand of them, shipping included. We don't have a store in Whitewater, or any plans for one.
We tried to politely advise you on this, but watched two days go by as this story of yours stayed up.
Would you mind explaining why Hamilton Nolan ignored Ryan's email (see below) and not only left the posting as is, but continued to approve all the comments to it?
I mean, heckling a t-shirt company is one thing... but maliciously denigrating a well-intended response against an attack on a human being's civil rights is quite another. Maybe you don't take gay bashings or suicides seriously, but we do.
As long as you keep this story up, we know where you stand on decency. If anyone is blatantly monetizing the Whitewater gay-bashing incident for a few shekels and page views, its you. Hell, you didn't even offer the option of clicking on the ad so people could actually read the statement for themselves. Obviously Hamilton didn't read it. The commenters on the Queerty post, where he lifted this "viewpoint", agreed that the coverage was fucked up. But maybe you think reader comments somewhere else on the internet absolve you of any standards of journalistic integrity?
I can't even figure out which was worse anymore - the twisting of the facts in this story, or the way you exploited the death of Dan Sindo last month.
Its old news now, everyone's moved on and the UW Whitewater story has ossified. I don't care much about changing the minds of your readership, but i'm honestly mystified about what you really stand for intellectually and ethically.
Let's see if you think a follow up straightening out the facts out is in order.