Target quietly removes a t-shirt from its website after being accused of ‘stealing the art of a gay Mexican artist’

The original art (left), and Target's t-shirt (right).

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The original art (left), and Target’s t-shirt (right).
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Twitter FelixdEon

  • On Tuesday, artist Felix d’Eon‏ accused Target of “stealing” one of his designs and putting it on a t-shirt.
  • “Is this how you support the queer Latinx community, @Target, by stealing the art of a gay Mexican artist?” d’Eon tweeted.
  • As of Wednesday morning, Target had pulled the t-shirt from its website – but had not publicly responded or apologized.

Target is under fire after selling – then pulling – a t-shirt that appears to use a piece of art without the creator’s permission.

“Target stole a design of mine and printed it on a tshirt,” artist Felix d’Eon‏ tweeted late on Tuesday. “Is this how you support the queer Latinx community, @Target , by stealing the art of a gay Mexican artist? I’m curious to hear what you have to say!”

On Wednesday, when Business Insider went to view the “Pride Adult Short Sleeve Igualdad T-Shirt” on the retailer’s online store, Target’s website said that the product was “currently unavailable.”

A cached version of the site shows the t-shirt being sold for $12.99. The description reads: “Pride T-shirt lets you show your support for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Target said in a statement to Business Insider on Wednesday evening that the company “respects the design rights of others and expects our vendors to do the same.”

“We have removed this shirt from our online assortment and we are in contact with the vendor,” the statement continues. “We spent a lot of time selecting Pride merchandise that celebrates the LGBTQ+ and ally community, so we appreciate this being brought to our attention.”

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Target.com

D’Eon is selling a print that looks strikingly similar to the t-shirt design on his Etsy site for $60.

“I am a gay, Mexican-American artist, and the painting stolen was from my Lotería game, a traditional Mexican game of which I made a queer version,” D’Eon said in a statement to Business Insider earlier on Wednesday. “The particular image was of a flag, which in the original game is a Mexican flag, but which in my version was re-painted as a gay flag, to invoke pride in my heritage and of other members of the queer, Latinx community.”

D’Eon said that Target’s version was changed enough that he could not sue the retailer, despite the obvious similarities. According to D’Eon, Target has not yet reached out to the artist.

“I wanted to call them out, and ask if Target’s way of supporting the queer, Latinx community is by stealing the artwork of a gay, Mexican artist,” D’Eon said. “Furthermore, the models online were white, and the grammar in their T-shirt version is incorrect by the standards of the Lotería game, which leads me to suspect that no actual Latinos were involved in the production or publicity of this T-shirt.”

This isn’t the first time that Target has been accused of ripping off artists’ designs for products. In 2015, Melissa Lay accused the retailer of copying her #merica t-shirt design without her knowledge. Other retailers, including Urban Outfitters and ModCloth, have also been accused of similar actions in recent years.