- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The women’s clothing boutique ZARA on Wednesday so quickly withdrew a denim miniskirt featuring a controversial cartoon image that even the woman who started the social media firestorm expressed her shock about it.

“Really can’t believe I made it into the NYT and got a giant brand to pull an offensive product with just 2 short tweets,” wrote freelance journalist Meagan Fredette on Twitter on April 19, linking to a New York Times story about how Zara swiftly discontinued a denim skirt it was selling that included “Pepe the Frog” patches.

“i’m really proud that my dumb lil tweets about the bad pepe skirt got the product pulled from zara, it has no place in our closets/world,” Ms. Fredette tweeted Tuesday night, celebrating ZARA’s decision.

On Monday she complained “this is bad” while sharing a photo of the offending garment. “Zara is really out there trying to sell a P*pe the frog skirt, apparently unaware (?) of its current implications,” she wrote.

Pepe the Frog, long an innocuous cartoon meme, during the 2016 campaign was co-opted online by the so-called alt-right, deployed in racially insensitive if not outright offensive memes.

ZARA is hardly the only company to find itself inadvertently stepping into a pile of Pepe poo. In January, the Wendy’s Twitter account offended some followers by tweeting an image that mashed up Pepe the Frog with the burger chain’s iconic pigtailed Wendy. It quickly deleted the tweet after learning the controversial connotation the cartoon frog had taken on during the presidential campaign.

“The Pepe tweet — which was up for less than 15 minutes — was in response to a simple request for memes,” BuzzFeed explained at the time.


• Ken Shepherd can be reached at kshepherd@washingtontimes.com.

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