It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and already several companies have found themselves in hot water over their holiday merchandise. Check out the products that are prompting this year’s biggest yuletide backlashes.
Write to Megan McCluskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starbucks Red Cups
Starbucks’ annual holiday cups stirred up some major controversy this year. Some Christians used social media to protest this year’s plain red beverage containers, which they say purposely didn’t include any overt Christmas iconography. The outrage sparked an equally outraged reaction from those who found the initial controversy ridiculous. And of course, comedians like Stephen Colbert and Ellen DeGeneres couldn’t help but have a little fun with it.
Some people were not happy:
While others were just outraged at the outrage:
Target 'OCD' Sweater
Target is currently selling a sweater on its site that defines OCD as “Obsessive Christmas Disorder.” Many believe the style makes light of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and trivializes mental illness. In an emailed statement to TIME, a Target spokesperson said the company does “not have plans to remove this sweater.”
People took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the store’s holiday product:
Target is just one of a number of retailers selling products with the phrase this holiday season, according to Adweek. The restaurant Cracker Barrel also has “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” items in stock.
Nordstrom Hanukkah Sweater
Although it has now been taken off the company’s site, Nordstrom sparked outrage with a Hanukkah-themed sweater featuring a menorah, the Star of David, dreidels and the phrase “Chai Maintenance.” Since “Chai” means “life” in Hebrew and is pronounced like “high,” the sweater reads as “high maintenance,” a phrase that angered some customers who saw it as playing on stereotypes about Jewish women.
Many criticized Nordstrom online and flooded the company’s Facebook page with negative comments about the sweater, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I’m very disturbed by this sweater and the negative stereotype of Jewish women,” wrote a poster who called the item anti-Semitic.
“Very disappointing to see Nordstrom’s would sell such a degrading item that makes fun of Jewish women,” said another.
However, some didn’t understand why people were so upset:
Bloomingdale's Spiked Eggnog Ad
An ad from the Bloomingdale’s holiday catalog went viral—but for all the wrong reasons. The page features a woman looking away, while a man looks at her suggestively. The caption that is positioned between the two people reads: “spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking,” a line that many noted appears to encourage date rape.
Twitter users blasted Bloomingdale’s for what the ad seemed to be implying. Following the backlash, the department store issued an apology.
Others speculated about how it had been released in the first place: