Of all of the things that are likely to cause outrage, a Christmas jumper wouldn’t normally be top of the list – but a new design from American brand Target has caused uproar online after appearing to ‘make fun’ of mental illness.
Twitter user Amy tweeted Target after seeing a jumper with a design that read ‘OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder’ in one of their stores.
‘Hey @Target OCD is a real disease not a joke,’ she wrote. ‘I don’t see any shirts making fun of cancer – why #mentalillness?’
The message got more than 100 retweets, and Target quickly responded, claiming that the jumper was never meant to upset or stigmatise those with mental illness.
‘It’s never our intention to offend anyone! We appreciate you sharing your thoughts and will forward it to leadership,’ they tweeted back.
‘Please do – this shirt makes a joke out of a disease that impacts over 3 million people – it’s nothing to joke about,’ she responded.
Amy wasn’t the only one to spot the jumper in store and contact Target with her complaints:
However, the response online has since spiralled, and whilst many tweeters agree that the jumper has gone too far, others, some of whom have OCD themselves, are telling Amy and her fellow posters to ‘lighten up’ and not take the message so seriously.
‘Calm down, it’s not that serious. I have battled OCD alongside my mother my whole life, and I find this hilarious,’ one commented, whilst another added ‘why cant you lighten up and not be offended by everything!!!!’
In an email to TIME, who contacted the brand for comment, Target say that they apologise for any offence caused, but have no plans to remove the jumper from their stores at this time.
What’s your take: is the jumper offensive to those with OCD, or a simple slogan that’s been taken the wrong way? Use the comment box below to let us know your thoughts.