Our Statement on T-shirts with Down’s syndrome ‘hate speech’ being sold by Amazon

Date: 14th September 2020

We have been made aware of some products with offensive messages about Down’s Syndrome that are available to purchase on Amazon.co.uk . These products are being sold through a third party seller, endorsed by Amazon.

Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive said:  “These t-shirts are abhorrent and tantamount to hate crime. It would appear that this is not an isolated incident and it is vital that Amazon act quickly to fix this problem on its site and provide assurance that this will not happen again.  We stand shoulder to shoulder with people with Down’s syndrome and their families to tackle all forms of abuse targeting our community.  At a time when disabled people are already feeling deeply marginalised as we emerge from the initial stages of the pandemic, comments such as this need to be called out.”

A petition has been launched calling for these products to be removed from the site and for Amazon to review their policy so that anyone inciting hate speech is banned from selling. You can sign the petition by clicking here.

Since the petition has been launched it has attracted media attention and now has over 17,000 signatures. Amazon have now removed the t-shirts from its site. Amazon has apologised for the t-shirts appearing on its site but have yet to make a full statement on how they will prevent this from happening again.

Down’s Syndrome Scotland (DSS) has over 1,200 members across Scotland and it supports children, young people and adults with Down’s syndrome to reach their fullest potential.  The charity has responded to a fourfold increase in demand for its services throughout the pandemic and it is pressing hard for greater equality and full recognition of the value and contribution of people with Down’s syndrome in communities all over Scotland.  Working closely with families, DSS wants to hear from anyone who is experiencing any form of abuse and discrimination; contact us on 0300 030 2121 our helpline is currently operating from 8am to 8pm.