Instead of celebrating the LGBTQ community, Abercrombie & Fitch has contributed to Pride Month with a tone deaf tweet that implies Pride is for straight people, too. Ugh.
According to GayStarNews, the fashion brand posted (and then deleted) a quote from an A&F employee, saying, "'The Pride community is everybody, not just LGBTQ people.' – Kayla, merchandiser."
The tweet also tagged The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, and included the hashtag #AnFxTrevor to highlight their new Pride collection.
Naturally, Twitter came out to drag the label for their insensitivity, especially considering that June is meant to focus on members of the LGBTQ community.
— sweetie heart (@imreallymir) June 10, 2017
After deleting the tweet, A&F sent out two follow-up tweets, noting that they respect the LGBTQ community.
Pride is an important time for the LGBTQ+ community. At A&F we work to ensure that everyone feels included, respected and empowered. #pride— Abercrombie & Fitch (@Abercrombie) June 11, 2017
But people weren't having it, and noted that the company didn't even apologize for their original tweet.
me looking for the word "sorry" in your tweets pic.twitter.com/4YQOP9ItI6— Triyoncé (@tribranchvo) June 11, 2017
Pride is about being proud of being LGBTQ. That's why it's called #Pride.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) June 11, 2017
If you respect us, don't co-opt that—especially for profit!
Okay but #pride isnt about how straight people feel, they're included in everything like damn let us have SOMETHING for once— playing: dragon age⚔ (@_linainverse) June 11, 2017
You're missing the entire point pride isn't meant to ensure 'everyone' feels included, yall are exploiting it to your demographic for profit— Savannah Seymour (@savannahseymour) June 11, 2017
This is damage control and not the apology we deserve. Do better than this.— Shaun Osburn (@ShaunOsburn) June 11, 2017
honey y'all obviously don't know why and how Pride started pic.twitter.com/GiOk3apPNt— Donavan 🌹 (@dxnavan) June 11, 2017
straight people always feel included, respected, and empowered? that's why pride exists -- for LGBTQ to feel the same— Biz Hurst (@TheBizHurst) June 11, 2017
Despite appearances, the company hasn't always tried to look inclusive. In fact, in a 2006 Salon interview, the now former Abercrombie CEO Michael Jeffries said that they were deliberately exclusionary.
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive, all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes] and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely," he said.
"In 2004, the company agreed to pay fifty million dollars to several thousand employees in order to settle a class-action lawsuit charging that it discriminated against African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans in both its hiring practices and its advertising," wrote Margaret Talbot.
So does Abercrombie & Fitch really care about Pride Month and the LGBTQ community? We're not so sure.