• Tue, Jun 7 2011

RedBubble.com Bans Hipster Hitler T-Shirts Amid Much Controversy

Did you know that there’s a web comic called Hipster Hitler that attempts to make fun of Adolf Hitler and “hipster culture” in one fell swoop? Well, there is, and it’s in the news today because online commerce site RedBubble.com has decided to block the sale of all Hipster Hitler-related paraphernalia. The t-shirts in question feature a trim, bespectacled fuhrer wearing shirts with various ironic slogans, including the above “I <3 Juice.” Get it? Like Jews? And it’s ironic because he actually hates Jews and wants to actually did round us up and murder us?

Via startupsmart:

The online retail site, which prints and distributes the work of artists, was accused of making light of the Holocaust by listing the Hipster Hitler merchandise, which features images of Adolf Hitler in a cardigan and skinny jeans and slogans such as “Death Camp For Cutie”, “Back to the Fuhrer” and “Eastside Westside Genocide”.

StartupSmart understands that RedBubble was considering pulling down only certain t-shirts from the range but the site has decided to de-list all of the merchandise.

Sucks for them, but RedBubble already lost its legal advisors over it and was additionally being threatened by the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, so I can understand why they made this choice. Looking through the web comic’s archives, I am more offended as a fan of funny jokes than as a Jew. It consists mainly of tired “observations” like “hipsters don’t care about stuff!” “hipsters love irony!” and “hipsters wear glasses!”, wrapped up in an absurd Hitler package. In the nerds’ grand war against guys who wear stylish clothes and get to have sex with women, I have seen much funnier takes than these. I’m actually kind of mad they squandered such a potentially amusing premise.

Nevertheless, the guys behind Hipster Hitler are entitled to freedom of expression, and it’s a shame that RedBubble was bullied out of doing business with them due to some perceived slight against the Jews. I think it’s clear to anyone with eyes that the strip portrays Hitler in a pretty negative way. May “JC” and “APK” find another outlet to sell their un-funny t-shirts soon.

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  • Albie

    I don’t know who would wear a “Back to the Führer” t-shirt except a Neo-Nazi, so I think it’s a good thing RedBubble was forced to stop selling them.

  • Sam

    @Jamie Peck

    How exactly do you find parody in stand alone slogans such as, “Death Camp For Cutie”, “Back to the Fuhrer” and “Eastside Westside Genocide”.

    If you had done a little research, you would find there are numerous Jewish groups who agree these shirts are clearly pro Nazi.

    I am baffled by your opinion and support of pro Nazi merchandise.

    • Baxter

      I get called a hipster all the time and I find these hilarious!
      I don’t think my generation thinks about Hitler the way people who were there or have parents who were do.

      Would ancestors of people mass murdered by Napoleon get angry if someone made a Napoleon-comedy web-comic? Probably not.

      Would families of 9/11 casualites get angry if someone made a Saddam webcomic? Probably.

      So it’s really a matter of “too soon”

  • Kriss Lee

    Fear and Loathing in Łaskarzew

    a stand alone slogan that related to the victims of the nazis and not their loony leader

    A: Parody ?
    B: Irony ?
    C: Funny ?
    D: All of the above
    E: NONE of that above

    E for me and any right minded person

    During the German Invasion of Poland in 1939, German forces on 17 September murdered 54 people in the town, including 34 Jews and 24 Poles. The victims included elderly people as old as 75 years.[1] On September 27, 1942, German forces deported 1,240 Jews to Treblinka extermination camp

  • Jamie Peck

    You know what? I didn’t get to look at all the t-shirt slogans before I wrote this, as their t-shirt site was, you know, down. I can see how they could be a lot more offensive taken out of context. I don’t think they meant it that way, but I’d probably be freaked out if I saw a dude in a “Back to the Fuhrer” shirt coming towards me on the street. Death Camp For Cutie? I’d just think he had poor taste in web comics.

    And yet: even neo-Nazis have the right to free speech in America. They just might have to learn how to make their own t-shirts.

  • porkchop

    Sooo, drawing a Hitler shape around your anti-semitic jokes somehow makes them LESS anti-semitic?

    Because it’s Hitler saying it, not you? Except Hitler isn’t really saying it…and you’re the one showing it to everyone?

    I had no idea bad taste could be this complex. HEY! Maybe next time they’ll be smart and attack a non-protected group. Like a shirt that has a guy on it who’s wearing a shirt that says “no fat chicks” and then you could be like “Don’t be mad. It’s not me, it this guy…”

    • Jamie Peck

      The jokes are not intended in an anti-Semitic fashion. Via their website:

      “This comic is not written with the intent of offending people and refrains from making the holocaust or any other similar horrific event as the subject matter of a strip. In constructing Hitler as a Hipster we’re offering a new way of disliking Hitler and laughing at the “lazy dictator” he was, who is known for being indolent, maniacal at times, with violent bursts of enthusiasm. In the process of satirizing Hitler’s thoughts, actions and logic, we’re taking a few digs at a contemporary subculture of urban, middle-class youth that fetishize the ‘authentic’ and conform to non-conformism.”

      But like I said, they get more dicey when taken out of context.

  • Simon Whittaker

    You dont need to be a Jew to be offended, Hitler also killed Poles, Russians, Dutch etc, etc, Not to mention disabled people, dissidents. As a single Jewish person it doesnt give you the right to approve this work. It might be highbrow humour and I might not be with it enough nor smart enough to “get it” but it offends me, like many others greatly.
    Freedom of speech might be a right but the responsibility to minimise offending people should be a responsibility.

  • JennB

    He is the Chairman of software giant Aconex, so it’s not just himself and RedBubble that he has dragged through the mud, it is Aconex.

  • Jez Kemp

    I only just found out they got rid of the Hipster Hitler stuff. I’m on Redbubble and took part (briefly) in the discussions about debates over banning HH, mostly to counter the outrage, bile and moral crusade of the people wanting a ban. I’m agree with the opinion you have come to, that it is obviously not promoting Hitler, hate, genocide etc. and it is kind of sad they had to ban it.
    Looks like HH have found a new place to sell Tshirts from:
    http://homespuntees.com/products-page