Protesters rallied outside a HatWRKS shop in Nashville, while several brands rushed to distance themselves from the scandal over an anti-vaccine patch that resembles the yellow Star of David the Nazis once forced on Jews.
Crowds of protesters and journalists swarmed around the HatWRKS shop on 8th Ave S. in Nashville on Saturday, after its owner caused a stir online with a controversial Instagram post promoting a new item – designed around one of the most widely known symbols of the Holocaust.
As TuskerDaily reported on Saturday, the Tennessee hat shop, hatWRKS, unveiled an anti-vaccine patch modeled on the yellow star forced on Jews during the Holocaust.
WTF Were You Thinking?
This horrific person is Gigi Gaskins.
She believes that selling Stars of David with "Not Vaccinated" is somehow entertaining.
While it is her right, it's also our right to express our disdain pic.twitter.com/oMo85uoMgP
— Michael, The Pettiest of Princes (@INTLmischief) May 28, 2021
Protesters Desend On hatWRKS
Of course, HatWRKS store owner Gigi Gaskins deleted her imbecilic post.
But apparently not fast enough to head off the consequences for her egregious stupidity.
Protest happening now outside of HatWRKS following controversial Instagram post that showed the shop’s owner wearing a yellow patch resembling the Star of David that read the words “not vaccinated”. @WKRN pic.twitter.com/vVhDqb6RvD
— Nikki McGee (@NikkiMcGeeWKRN) May 29, 2021
Her apparent lack of remorse led activists to double down on their calls for a boycott, which multiple brand names responded to.
Group gathering at HatWRKS protesting the sale of Star of David patches with “Not Vaccinated” written on them. This is the second protest here today. https://t.co/IoW1DlsceB pic.twitter.com/lSosBQxZqX
— Rachel Tiede (@RMTiede) May 29, 2021
“As a result of the offensive content and opinions shared by HatWRKS in Nashville, Stetson and our distribution partners will cease the sale of all Stetson products,” the US company, which was once the largest hat company in the world, said, adding that it “condemns antisemitism and discrimination of any kind.”
As a result of the offensive content and opinions shared by HatWRKS in Nashville, Stetson and our distribution partners will cease the sale of all Stetson products. We thank you for your continued support and patience.
— John B. Stetson (@StetsonUSA) May 29, 2021
Australian manufacturer Akubra Hats also rushed to distance itself from HatWRKS, saying the “content, opinions and value of this stockist are not ones shared by Akubra and as a result, we have taken action to cease trading with them.”
— DFlo (@d_flo) May 29, 2021
HatWrks Issues A Sorry, Not Sorry Apology
The store owner, Gigi Gaskins, made several attempts to rationalize her intentions.
My intent was not to exploit or make a profit. My hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that I can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.
Only later did she issue an apology which did little to appease her critics.
“In no way did I intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people… I sincerely apologize for any insensitivity,” she said in an Instagram post.