Abercrombie and Fitch In 2002, clothing manufacturer Abercrombie and Fitch
Each shirt recalled a stereotype, such as the Charlie
released a series of graphic tees that were meant to add
Chan figure who spoke broken English and dispensed
levity its fashion line (Snopes.com).
wisdom in a fortune-cookie-style of speaking (Snopes.com).
The T-shirts featured Asian caricatures with conical hats, “Asian” typography and advertised services such as “Wong Brothers Laundry Service: Two Wongs Can Make it
The shirts also portrayed imagery using “coolie” hats worn by Asian laborers who were forced into services such as driving ricksaws, or tending to laundry, which was a job
White”; “Rich Shaw’s Hoagies and Grinders: Good Meat,
white Americans gladly passed along to Asian immigrants
Quick Feet”; “Wok-N-Bowl: Let the Good Times Roll”; and
(Encyclopedia Britannica Online).
“Pizza Dojo: You Love Long Time.” The $25 shirts were quickly criticized for their racist
The term “coolie” means “an unskilled laborer usually in or from the Far East hired for low or subsistence wages.” The coolie trade began in the 1840s as a response to the
decline of slavery, with most laborers being shipped to the
New York’s Chinatown. Photo by Joe Benjamin/Flickr
depictions and were pulled from the company’s 311 stores