Lululemon issued an apology Tuesday and said it fired an executive who recently took to Instagram to promote a “bat fried rice” T-shirt design during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the New York Post.
Trevor Fleming, the fitness apparel company’s senior global art director, reportedly shared a design that showed a white shirt with a drawing in red ink of a Chinese takeout box, a pair of bat wings and chopsticks.
The words “No Thank You” was written on the box and down the sleeves. (RELATED: Here Are The Members Of Congress Self-Quarantining After Meeting Person With Coronavirus At CPAC)
Lululemon Art Director Posts Racist ‘Bat Fried Rice’ Shirts for Salehttps://t.co/6SObUAf3Dl
— Nextshark (@NextShark) April 20, 2020
The shirt was being sold by California artist Jess Sluder under the title “bat fried rice” for $60, according to the New York Post. (RELATED: REPORT: Coachella Potentially Rescheduled To October Due To Coronavirus Fears)
Sluder’s since-deleted post showed off the tee, under the heading, “quarantee” and read, “Where did COVID-19 come from? Nothing is certain, but we know a bat was involved.”
The post immediately drew accusations of anti-Asian sentiment.
“There have been 100+ daily attacks on Asian Americans since the start of #COVID19,” one person wrote on Twitter, along with photos of the shirt. “To see people adding to the hurt & racism hurts my heart.”
Lululemon was quick to respond to an Instagram comment and said it “acted immediately, and the person involved is no longer an employee.”
“We want to apologize that an employee was affiliated with promoting an offensive t-shirt,” the brand replied to another comment. “We hold our values at our core and find the image and post inexcusable.”
The clothing brand also made it clear the shirt was not one of its products.