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'Attack on Titan' armbands evoking racially discriminated group pulled from sale

This screen capture shows the announcement for the merchandise's withdrawal from sale on the "Attack on Titan The Final Season" official website.

TOKYO -- Official reproductions of armbands worn by an oppressed ethnic group in popular Japanese manga and anime series "Attack on Titan" have been pulled from sale by the production committee for the popular anime's final season, it was announced Nov. 15.

    According to the official website for the anime series "Attack on Titan The Final Season," the armbands were reproductions of those worn by the oppressed "Eldian" minority in the nation of "Marley." The production committee announced Nov. 15 on its website that it will stop accepting orders and cease selling the goods.

    An explanation on the site reads, "We recognize that commercializing an object symbolizing racial and ethnic discrimination in the series without a second thought was an act lacking consideration." It is followed by an apology.

    After declaring it "will not tolerate any kind of discrimination," the production committee stated, "We sincerely apologize to everyone who has already ordered the product, and all 'Attack on Titan' fans. In future, we will operate with greater attention to prevent the same thing from happening again."

    A number of posts criticizing the product emerged online, including on Twitter. Messages included: "Please don't ever turn it into a product. Also, please reveal what led to deciding to commercialize them, and what plans there are to prevent a recurrence," and, "Making a symbol of tragedy into official merchandise seems questionable."

    (Japanese original by Digital News Center)

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