An actor whose catchphrase is at the centre of a “racist” t-shirt row has blasted the Methodist minister who got Primark to ban the garment after he complained.
Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan has now waded into the row and blasted Ian Lucraft as “stupid” as calls grow for the high street chain to lift its ban on the “eeny meeny miny moe” t-shirt.
The star, who plays Negan in the hit US show, took to Twitter to hit out at the chain’s decision to stop selling the t-shirt, which also features a blood-stained, barbed wired wrapped baseball bat after Mr Lucraft sent a stinging letter to store bosses describing it as “fantastically offensive” and “racist.” Tweeting a link to the story to his 370,000 followers, the star wrote: “Holy cr*p, people are stupid.”
The tweet has retweeted 4,300 times and been liked more than 2,000 more. The row erupted earlier this week after Mr Lucraft and wife Gwen spotted the shirt on sale at the firm’s branch in The Moor in Sheffield city centre. It features Negan’s signature Lucille baseball bat and his victim-selecting rhyme, “Eeny meeny miny moe.” Mr Lucraft said the rhyme has racist origins, even though in the show, the actor uses the word “tiger” instead of the N-word, which the Methodist minister said the t-shirt was based on.
Primark apologised and instantly pulled the shirt, saying: “The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologises for this.” But calls are now growing for Primark to axe the ban and more than 700 people have signed a petition calling for it to be reinstated.
Jasmine Williams, who launched the campaign at change.org said: “If Eenie Meenie Miny Moe is indeed so horribly racist as this man claims then maybe we should stop children singing it in our playgrounds or maybe I should get arrested for using it to choose which socks I’m wearing today.”