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Amazon and The Hut cause offence with ‘gay accent’ mouth spray

November 11, 2014

Online retailers Amazon and The Hut Group have been criticised for selling a “gay accent” mouth spray.

The spray is currently available to buy on Amazon, IWOOT and The Hut websites.

A description of the product on The Hut reads: “We think we have managed to bottle masculinity, it was hard work but we have contained it for those who would like an extra dose. Guaranteed to make you a better man, why not try this mouth spray? The results might surprise you! Ok so, the Mouth Spray may be more prank than fact but at least you will have minty, fresh breath!”

PinkNews reader Ronan McGinty believes the item is offensive and illustrates being gay in a negative light.

A customer service representative for IWOOT, which is owned by The Hut Group, apologised to Mr McGinty in an email but failed to say if the spray would be withdrawn from sale.

The representative told Mr McGinty: “I am truly sorry for any upset this has caused you and I can advise that we do not mean to cause any offence by selling this product.

“The products we have from our suppliers are named by them, these names have to be carried on to our website.

“The description of the product explains that this is more of a novelty item intended to be sold as a joke or a prank.

“Again we are truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and if there is anything else that we can do, then please do not hesitate to get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to help.”

But Mr McGinty remains dismayed by the response of The Hut.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “This item is pandering to an offensive and ignorant stereotype and suggests that the retailer endorses the ridiculing of people who are gay or perceived to be gay. The fact that the item is intended as a light-hearted novelty gift does not excuse this.

“The pejorative use of the word ‘gay’ should be challenged and the very real damage that it does highlighted. It was, at best, irresponsible of the retailer to stock this item in the first place but their response was wholly inappropriate and demonstrates their disregard for gay people.”

Last year Tesco was criticised for appearing to sell an inflatable “Gay Best Friend” doll on its website and for allowing the word “gay” to be censored.

The supermarket later apologised for the blunder.

However, Amazon and Ebay continued to sell the doll.

PinkNews has approached Amazon and The Hut Group for comment.

More: Amazon, Anti-gay, homophobic, offense, stereotype, sterotypes, The Hut Group

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