amazon shirts

As of around 12:30 p.m. ET Aug. 19, an Amazon spokesperson said the products had all been removed for violating selling guidelines. (photo via IANS)

Clothing with vulgar phrases targeting Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being sold by a third-party retailer have been removed off of e-commerce giant Amazon’s marketplace.

One of the sellers, The Oxygen Bandit, was offering T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and sweatshirts with a similar design to Joe Biden's campaign logo saying "Joe and the h--." The name of the gardening tool that rhymes with "Joe" is slang for the word "whore."  

The prices ranged from $24.99 to $42.99, according to a USA Today report.

The political meme gained momentum when Rush Limbaugh used his radio show to push misinformation about vice presidential candidate Harris.

The meme is the latest iteration of previous smear campaigns targeting Harris for her romantic relationship with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown 25 years ago.

While Harris had a relationship with Brown between 1994 and 1995, her first successful run for office happened in 2003 – when she won the San Francisco District Attorney runoff election.

The Oxygen Bandit does not appear to have a standalone website. Among the other items it is selling on Amazon are clothing items with the words "Kamala smelled the best," alluding to the claims of inappropriate behavior by the presumptive Democratic nominee Biden, the report said.

These items are still available for purchase and Amazon declined to comment on whether it would remove them, it said.

Several such shirts were still listed on the site on the morning of Aug. 19, but links to the products are no longer active. As of around 12:30 p.m. ET Aug. 19, an Amazon spokesperson said the products had all been removed for violating selling guidelines.

“All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “These products have been removed.”

In addition to selling its own products on its website, Amazon also acts as a marketplace where third party, independent sellers can list items for sale.

Demetria Edwards, an Arkansas attorney, on Aug. 18 sent an email to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for the removal of the products, a CNN report said.

Edwards, who shared that email with CNN Business, called the items “racist, sexist and offensive merchandise,” and a “reprehensible attempt to demean, devalue, denigrate and degrade” Biden and Harris.

Edwards said she did not receive a direct response from Amazon, and it’s not clear whether Edwards’ letter led to the products’ removal, the report said.

It’s not the first time Amazon has had to remove inappropriate products. Earlier this month, Amazon removed shoes for sale by a third party seller that featured a racial slur from its website after being called out by a British lawmaker. And in March, Amazon said it had pulled more than 1 million products off its site for price gouging or false advertising during the pandemic.

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