After a hassle broke out over a T-shirt for the AMC drama series “The Walking Dead,” actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan on the show, responded with a Twitter message saying, “Holy crap people are stupid.”
EW.com reports that Morgan’s tweet, which you can see below, followed a move by the U.K. department store chain Primark, which pulled the T-shirt from its shelves after receiving a complaint that the shirt is “racist” and “fantastically offensive.” The shirt features Negan’s trademark Lucille baseball bat and the words “Eeny meeny miny moe,” part of his rhyme used on the show to choose a victim.
The rhyme continues, “catch a tiger by the toe,” but EW notes: “The problem? About 100 years ago, that rhyme commonly used the N-word instead of ‘tiger.'”
The U.K. publication The Star in Sheffield quotes Ian Lucraft, the customer who complained about the shirt, who told the paper: “We were shocked when we came face to face with a new T-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text. It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.”
Lucraft also told the paper: “The graphic has a large American baseball bat, wrapped round with barbed wire, and covered with blood. This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America.”
After the shirt was pulled from Primark stores, a spokesman for the chain said: “The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series ‘The Walking Dead,’ and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for this.”
EW notes that AMC had not commented on the situation.