American Eagle Outfitters Is Under Fire for a Bracelet That Resembles 'Slave Shackles'


Every now and then, a corporate company will do something painfully tone-deaf and problematic that you wonder if there are actual people working behind those closed doors. In the case of American Eagle Outfitters and a terribly designed bracelet, you'll be asking yourself if it's actually the 21st century. 

  • Recently, some folks took notice of the fashion brand selling a men's metal cuff that looked eerily like "slave shackles."

    "I saw this 'bracelet' ... and think you need to revisit this," one person tweeted, tagging the store's Twitter account. "I would never wear this due to the obvious slavery connection. I hope you do the right thing and remove this from your stores."

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  • Many were outraged and offended that American Eagle would let a bracelet that made light of something as monumental as slavery even make it to shelves.

    "In 2017? Really," one person tweeted. "This is so tactless and should have never made it to the shelves. Hopes for an investigation for the people who greenlighted this."

    "Are you ready to party like it's 1799?!" another person wrote. "Well, scurry on down to American Eagle and pick up these 'bracelets.'"

  • Some people even shared images of real slave shackles to prove how identical they were.

  • One person summed up the entire problem with the bracelet in an online review on the American Eagle Outfitters website.

    "Dear @aeo, Slave shackles weren't cool then, and they're not cool now," the person commented. "Time for your accessories buyers to wake up."

    The controversy is similar to something that happened with Khloe Kardashian and her Good American clothing brand earlier this year. Kardashian posted promotional images of her and a black model, and in one photo, the women were posing way too similarly to Renaissance paintings that depicted slavery, proving that commercial companies continue to be ignorant when it comes to racial insensitivity. 

  • On Twitter, American Eagle apologized for the bracelet, promising to remove it from stores and the website.

  • But not everyone was so accepting on the apology, finding it just too little, too late.

    "@AEO hire people of color to leadership, product design, buying, marketing, and e-commerce teams, then we can hear a 'sorry,'" one person tweeted

    Probably a good idea in our book. Hope you're listening, American Eagle Outfitters. 

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