Canadian sportswear brand Lululemon have responded quickly to distance itself from a “Bat Fried Rice” t-shirt design that had sparked online anger after being posted onto Instagram.
The t-shirt features a Chinese styled take-out box with bat wings and a pair of chopsticks with bat wings along with the words “No Thank You.”
The design was posted to Instagram by artist Jess Sluder (deadringer) who captioned the post:
“Where did COVID-19 come from? Nothing is certain, but we know a bat was involved. Beginning today, my limited edition guarantees are now available. Link in bio or DM for details… Thank you for your support and sense of humor!”
Sluder has since set his account to private after first making some apologies and explanations in the comments underneath the post, claiming that he never intended to profit from the shirt
He further added “The racial aspect of this honestly had not occurred to me, which is clearly something I need to explore further,” he wrote before going on to say that he’s “been alone too long” because of the coronavirus quarantine.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Lululemon was founded in 1998 as a purveyor of yoga pants. It has since expanded internationally, entering the Chinese market in 2016 and currently boasting almost 30 stores on the mainland.
It’s also worth noting the company founder Chip Wilson previously explained that he chose “Lululemon” as his company’s name because he thought it was “funny” to hear native Japanese speakers say the name.