Walking Dead Star Slams Complaint of Racism
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In response to recent controversy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Negan” from AMC’s The Walking Dead) tweeted, “Holy crap people are stupid.” Well said, Jeffrey. Well said.
Morgan’s tweet included an article from The Wrap, which explained what happened when a shopper saw what he thought to be an offensive piece of The Walking Dead merchandise.
If you watch The Walking Dead, then you’re familiar with Negan’s choice of weaponry: Lucille. Lucille is a baseball bat, tightly wound in barbed wire. You’d also know of Negan’s famous line, “Eeny meeny miny moe, catch a tiger by his toe.” This line represents an incredibly intense point in the AMC drama, as Negan is deciding whom to kill using Lucille. To make his choice easier and “fair,” he sings, ‘eeny meeny miny moe,” a well-known rhyme used to quickly make a choice.
Negan, being a crowd favorite character, made those words recognized, and somewhat exhilarating due to his deranged character’s personality. Primark, being a popular clothing store, released a Negan and Lucille themed shirt with “eeny meeny miny moe” printed on the front.
Outside of my own knowledge, previously, instead of “catch a tiger by his toe,” the words were altered in the U.K. way back when. Originally, the word tiger was replaced with an intolerable word that is not used today.
Apparently, a Caucasian man stumbled upon the shirt while shopping in Primark, and was in disbelief. The man, Ian Lucraft, claims, “[The shirt] is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.”
Lucraft also took it upon himself to complain about the shirt to the Chief Executive, Paul Marchant, of Primark, who publicly apologized and pulled the shirt from all stores. Marchant made it clear that he was not aware of the racial indecency that the words held.
Being a devoted fan of The Walking Dead and of Negan, I would have known exactly what the shirt meant once I saw it, as would other fans. To take something completely out of context as Lucraft did is utterly appalling and disappointing. To say that a black person would know “just where [they] stood” if they saw the shirt, is racist in itself. Where does Lucraft think black people stand?
Morgan has the right to be angry with these so-called stupid people. Why draw a racial focus towards a shirt? Unfortunately, incidences as such simply remind me of the world we live in. We live in a world where people dig deep and search for controversial issues in things as simple as an article of clothing.
The reality is that it’s just a shirt. If there was a clear racist message on the shirt, then there would be no question whether it should be pulled or not. In fact, it would never even make it to the stores if there were a clear racial slur.
However, the fact remains that it’s a character and a line from a show. There is no reason to investigate a potential hidden meaning when the content’s intention was innocent.