August 22nd, 2020 – Amazon has removed degrading merchandise aimed at Kamala Harris who, just three days ago, became Joe Biden’s running mate. The Democratic ticket is hoping to take back the White House with the slogan “Build Back Better,” but t-shirts on the site had a different message: “Joe and the Hoe.”
The merch came from third-party sellers on the site and quickly spread around Twitter last Tuesday. USA Today reported that The Oxygen Bandit was selling T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and sweatshirts on top of a familiar Biden campaign design.
On Wednesday, an Amazon spokesperson said the items had been removed in violation of selling guidelines.
“All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “These products have been removed.”
While most of the vulgar slogans were focused on Harris, who is the first Black woman to be a major party’s vice presidential nominee, Biden was also a target. T-shirts were previously listed for $24.99 that read “KAMALA SMELLED THE BEST,” a reference to Biden’s personal-space-pushing tendencies.
The outrage was seen widely online with people sharing photos on their social media accounts. One person, however, went directly to Amazon.
Arkansas attorney Demetria Edwards sent an email to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and she didn’t hold back in explaining exactly how she felt about “Joe and the Hoe” items. Edwards shared the email with CNN Business where she called the merchandise “racist, sexist and offensive,” and a “reprehensible attempt to demean, devalue, denigrate and degrade” Biden and Harris.
Amazon is no stranger to controversy involving third-party sellers on its site. In the past, the selling giant has removed racist and transphobic products that also caused outrage online.
Do you think Amazon made the right call in removing the vulgar Joe and the Hoe merchandise?