Shalom Life | January 31, 2015

Hipster Hitler Loses the Online Retailer War

New York based comic, Hipster Hitler, is removed from online retailer after complaints from the Jewish community.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: June 6th, 2011 in Culture » Society » News

Hipster Hitler Loses the Online Retailer War

Melbourne based online retailer, Red Bubble, has decided to remove all Hipster Hitlert-shirts from their inventory following uproar from the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission.

Hipster Hitleris a New York based comic that “satirizes both hipster culture and the exploits of the Third Reich using a combination of puns, parody, dark humour, anachronisms, and visual gags”, explains hipsterhitler.com.

The Hipster Hitler creators explain that the comic’s intention is not to offend people, but instead offers “a new way of disliking Hitler and laughing at the ‘lazy dictator’ he was, who is known for being indolent, maniacal at times, with violent bursts of enthusiasm.”

Hipsters in urban centres, especially in North America, are generally disliked as they claim to be authentic, while conforming to non-conformity.

Hipster Hitler sells t-shirts featuring their comic strips on hipsterhitler.com, but also have distribution with many online retailers. Red Bubble was one of the company’s largest virtual stores.

Red Bubble was accused of making light of the Holocaust by carrying the Hipster Hitler name, which features Adolf Hitler in a hipster-style cardigan and skinny jeans supported by slogans such as “Death Camp for Cutie”, “Back to the Fuhrer” and “Eastside Westside Genocide”.

Originally, Red Bubble was only removing specific t-shirts from their store, but they’ve re-considered and have decided to de-list all Hipster Hitler product.

Last week, Red Bubble’s legal advisors, Arnold Block Leibler, ended their relationship with the online company stating, “We will not act for a company that in effect promotes Nazism.” This comment was followed by a PayPal investigation to determine whether or not Red Bubble adhered to their Acceptable Use Policy. After a thorough investigation, PayPal has announced that the website does in fact meet all policies.

Red Bubble may have been working within PayPal’s Acceptable Use policy, but this didn’t satisfy the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission.

“As a Jewish Organization we have a particular sensitivity to anti-Semitism and this led us to get in touch with Red Bubble after a number of complaints about Hipster Hitler”, said a representative from the commission.

Red Bubble’s executive officer, Martin Hosking, respects and understands the commissions concerns. “We do have a high commitment to freedom of expression”, he says. “I do, however have to listen to people who have such an intense experience with the Holocaust.”

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