Forever 21 Apologizes for Offensive T-Shirt Design

03/14/2016 at 09:37 PM ET

Forever 21 has issued an apology after receiving backlash from customers over a graphic T-shirt that featured the slogan: “Don’t Say Maybe If You Want To Say No.”

Consumers took to Twitter on Monday condemning the retail chain for approving the “Maybe No” shirt design that seemingly played down rape culture and anti-consent.

Forever 21

Forever 21 strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously.  With regards to the t-shirt in question, upon receiving feedback from our customers, we took immediate action to have it removed from our website.  We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product,” Forever 21 said in a statement to PEOPLE.

Project Consent was among the activist groups to take part in the overwhelming backlash that resulted in the removal of the graphic tee.

“Hey, @Forever21, we think you should #StopVictimBlaming and pull this shirt from your stores,” the campaign tweeted.

Karen Mizoguchi

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Showing 26 comments

Cryssi on

People this shop at this place? Your fault if you give them any of your money.

Chris on

That tshirt sounds spot on to me. No reason to take it back

TM Kelly on

Apparently, every company in America now needs a “save us from ourselves” quality control person. I’m not sure which recent idiocy from ‘marketing” is worse – this shirt or UOP using “If I Only Had a Brain” in new commercials.

Autumn on

I’m confused as to how this is blaming the victim.
I saw it an entirely different way.
I read it as empowering to girls who are struggling to find their voice.
I see that it gave them permission TO say NO.
Women are still being raised to be “sugar and spice and everything nice”. Girls are still told that they must have a “gentle, quiet spirit”…that THAT is what makes a woman lovable.

So I think this shirt empowering to tell a woman “hey if you WANT to say NO then damn-well SAY it..don’t feel like you have to be NICE about it and say MAYBE or you will hurt a man’s feelings”.

I don’t see this shirt as offensive at ALL!

nope on

can not stand that store, the shopping experience or the product.

but i dont find this tshirt offensive.

more people do need to learn to use the word NO and mean it in every capacity.

i did not correlate the expression on the tshirt to a rape apology.

nope on

that right autumn, i had the same thinking.

my first boss was the one who told me that when you tell a person NO , you make an enemy of that person.
my boss was a hyper aggressive former athlete in a sport where aggression is of value to its players and he did not give a damn of he made an enemy or two along the way.
but many women do have this fear and most people men and women alike ” go along to get along”.
“dont rock the boat”
“you get more flies with honey than vinegar”

i see nothing wrong with the expression on this tshirt.

i sometimes feel like a toddler who overuses the word NO but its one of my favorite words to use along with F OFF!

guest on

Wow…sounds like people are reading an awful lot into that shirt… could honestly be referring to anything!!

Diana on

I agree with Autumn and had to read other comments to figure out why anyone would object. Women do need to say “no” when no is what they mean. This isn’t victim blaming, this is victim prevention.

Taylor on

I don’t understand. It seems like the complete opposite to me. Women should be empowered to say “no” if they want to say no.

RSD on

If you take a moment…………. You will notice the shirt is on a MAN!!

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