"I'm very pleased": Sheffield Methodist minister who got Primark to ban "racist" Walking Dead t-shirt praises firm's move

A Sheffield Methodist minister who got high street clothing store Primark to remove a "racist" Walking Dead t-shirt from shelves has admitted he is "very pleased" with the chain's decision.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st February 2017, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:48 am
Ian Lucraft says he is "very pleased" Primark took a decision to stop selling a t-shirt after he branded it racist.
Ian Lucraft says he is "very pleased" Primark took a decision to stop selling a t-shirt after he branded it racist.

Ian Lucraft wrote to the firm's Chief Executive calling for a shirt featuring the wording "eeny meeny miny moe" and a blood drenched baseball bat to be dropped, saying the origin of the slogan had "racist" origins and encouraged violence against black people.

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Primark pulls "shocking" and "racist" Walking Dead t-shirt from stores after She...
The t-shirt which sparked the outrage.

And within moments of his complaint landing on boss Paul Marchant's desk, the firm took the decision to stop selling the merchandise from the hit US TV series.

Despite fierce criticism on social media, Mr Lucraft says he stands by his decision and said: "I am very pleased that Primark's chief executive and his team took immediate action within an hour of my letter being sent to them and I thank them that they have withdrawn this horrid t shirt.

"It is very easy for hateful words to become part of our culture, especially when drenched in the violence of hateful films such as these.

"And when that does happen it is easy to fail to grasp the offence because we become used to it. But we must hold onto our values and not stoop to such language ourselves."

The t-shirt which sparked the outrage.

Primark took the move after Mr Lucraft, from Wadsley, branded the garment "fantastically offensive."

Mr Lucraft and his wife Gwen had visited the firm's recently opened branch in The Moor in Sheffield city centre to buy a present for their grandson when they spotted the white t-shirt with the message "eeny meeny miny moe" - used by a character in the hit show.

He said: "The slogan is “Eeeny meenie miny moe…..” It stops there, but of course we all know what the original said: “catch a n***** by his toe."

"The graphic has a large American baseball bat, wrapped round with barbed wire, and covered with blood. This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America.

"It 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."

In the scene, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) bludgeons a character to death using a barbed-wire rapped baseball bat while uttering the phrase. However, in the clip, he uses the word "tiger" rather than the N-word.

The decision provoked angry reactions on Facebook with many condemning Mr Lucraft for pressing Primark for a ban.

Baz Lamb said: "There is a reason for people like that taking offence to everything. It's called attention seeking."

Zack Wright added: "I fail to see how this is racist or offensive. I've only ever heard of the word tiger used in that song."

Stacey Leigh Taylor wrote: "Some people really need to get a grip! It's from a TV series, obviously he doesn't watch it to realise it has nothing to do with racism! Get a life."

Samantha Watkinson posted: "Why is it racist? I'm 29 and never heard the nursery rhyme any other way than how my kids now sing it at school, still 'catch a tiger' "

And Pete Cotton wrote: "This man must have been brought up living in cloud cuckoo land, protected from the big bad outside world by his PC brigade parents."

Pip Strafford added: "This is the culture we live in. Offended and triggered by absolutely anything. Permanently looking to be a professional victim of some outrage."