Hollister is owned by one of the most racist and anti-disablity companies in existence Abercrombie and Fitch.
Netizens have reacted strongly to what has been interpreted as offensive pictures and remarks from models at the opening of the first Hollister clothing store in South Korea.
Images of models making “squinty eyes” faces, flipping their middle finger to photographers, and mocking Asian pronunciation of English appeared on their Twitter accounts. Major Korean newspapers covered the scandal, as online comments called for a boycott and promised to return clothing they had bought. Other netizens have tracked down the models’ personal details and published them online.
Scandal Erupts as American Models Take “Squinty Eyes” Photos at Gyeongbokkung to Insult Asians
Foreign models visiting Korea to advertise the opening of an American clothing company have taken pictures that make fun of Asians and started a controversy about racial discrimination.
On August 30, famous American clothing brand Hollister brought in four foreign models to attend the opening of their first Korean store at the Yeouido location, where they took photos with customers. The event, which lasted until September 2nd, is part of Hollister’s distinct marketing campaign whenever it opens a new store. Customers are able to take photos with the models, all of them robust foreign men dressed like lifeguards, wearing nothing on their chests but whistles.
Hollister model makes “squinty eyes” face
The four-day event has been overshadowed by an unexpected controversy.
One of the models who attended the opening posted a picture to his twitter (@vin_****) of himself taken in front of Gyeongbokkung Palace with his eyes squinted closed and his lips open. Netizens who saw the photo pointed out how it was making fun of Asians with “squinty eyes”. Another model from the same Hollister event posted similar photos to his Twitter account.
One Twitter user who seems to have worked with the Hollister model before commented on his photo, “please look at how many Asians liked that picture… impressive.” The problem lies in the fact that the original poster of the photo replied with another comment making fun of Asians. The model mocked Asians’ typical English pronunciation, saying, “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!”
the offensive comment from Twitter
Yet another model has also been involved in a scandal. The third model was captured exposing his middle finger in an insulting gesture during photos. Furthermore, the same model was photographed in poses that mocked Asians during his visit to Hong Kong which took place before he came to South Korea.
Having heard about the issue through social media, Korean netizens are showing their displeasure. One comment online read “I feel like we must at the very least start a boycott of Hollister. How deep is their discrimination against Asians if they have no problem taking such pictures and uploading them to social media for a laugh?” Another netizen stated with dismay, “I’ve got to go and return the clothes that I bought.” Other users online were so enraged that they sought out the online profiles for the first Hollister model and posted the personal information online.