But when the "60 Minutes" feature came on, was it about protests against Abercrombie's raciness? No, that isn't quite the word. The protests were against its racist-ness.
Yes, the complaints were to the effect that by its penchant for Caucasian models, Abercrombie was demeaning other races. The girls of Abercrombie are mostly blond and blue eyed. And they are winking their blue eyes at mostly undressed men who are blond or brunette and aggressively white and handsome.
Now -- one Asian complainant wanted to know -- how does A&F get away with such ethnocentrism? Where are the Asian girls? The black men? Well, yes, there is a hint of affirmative action there, and one comes upon the odd black ecdysiast, but "60 Minutes" was not disguising the plain truth of it: A&F is a Caucasian display case, and that is something they are going to have to live with. Either that, or A&E comes up with a better ethnic mix of young horseflesh. Thirteen percent black models would be a good start, 18 percent Hispanic, and, oh, 9 percent Asian.
But easy does it! A&F came up with a T-shirt featuring Asian features, and a lobby went into action. "One might wonder what our forefathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and pioneer immigrants who came before us would think of the shirts," wrote a columnist at UC-Berkeley. "I've heard too many working-in-the-family-laundry stories from my mother and father and aunts and uncles to think that 'Two Wongs Can Make It White' can be funny," a columnist for the San Jose Mercury News complained.
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