Globalize Clothing owner, Clayton Cross, is under fire for releasing a controversial shirt with the word “Retarde” plastered across the front in large letters. A mother joined a protest with her child, who was diagnosed with down syndrome, outside of their Australian based stored in the Rundle Mall. The mother also appeared on a daily TV show to discuss the issue. During a radio interview with Cross, he questioned why the child was not a part of the TV interview.
“I don’t mind if he can’t make a cogent argument but the kids have got to toughen up,” Cross told the radio. “The nature of the world is that child, like everyone, is going to have a tough life and at the moment all the parents I’m seeing are just mollycoddling their children to death. I mean, I deal with hundreds of children and they’re coming through the system – no-one’s ever said ‘no’ to them by the time they’re 16. There’s no doubt kids have got to toughen up.”
Disabilities Minister, Tony Piccolo, is disgusted with the controversy, stating “people living with disability deserve both dignity and respect and I cannot see how this affords people living with disability either of those rights.”
Cross claimed that it is not policy to censor style and the customer’s choice of what to wear. He claimed the shirts have been selling well, and one Globalize rep even claimed the shirts have sold out at the mall.
After the interview, several people appeared in front of the Globalize store with signs and demanding that Globalize stop selling “shirts that hurt.” Police eventually arrived on scene and requested the protesters not obstruct the door to the business. Afterward, it was reported that the store made an agreement to stop selling the controversial shirts.