Harry Styles is being called out over “problematic” new coronavirus merch
8 April 2020, 11:21
100% of profits from Harry Style's coronavirus t-shirts will be donated to the #COVID19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Harry Styles is being criticised for selling new coronavirus themed merch to raise money to help those affected by COVID-19.
Since coronavirus became a global health crisis, many celebrities have responded by trying to be of service to those in need during this time. Lady Gaga, for example, has currently raised over $35 million for COVID-19 relief. However, some stars are coming under fire for their efforts. Gal Gadot's 'Imagine' video faced huge backlash, as did Rita Ora's coronavirus t-shirt.
Now, Harry Styles is being called out after he, like Rita, has announced that he is selling his own coronavirus merch.
Taking to Twitter last night (Apr 8), Harry Styles' official label and promo account, @HSHQ, tweeted: "Stay Home. Stay Safe. Protect Each Other. Now available in the Official Store: http://HStyles.lnk.to/SHSST. 100% of profits to be donated to the #COVID19 Solidarity Response Fund for the @WHO." @HSHQ also tweeted a photo of a t-shirt with that slogan on it.
Shortly after the tweet went out, people began criticising Harry. While it's good that the profits from the t-shirts are going to COVID-19 relief, you could give more by simply donating to the fund and not paying for the t-shirts to be made as well. On top of that, the people who make these t-shirts won't be able to self-isolate, and they are hardly a priority right now.
One person tweeted: "Let me get this straight. You are making merch for people (many of whom are currently unemployed) to buy to make a donation? There will now be factory workers required to be in close quarters to manufacture these items. The delivery drivers and shipment companies will need".
Another person added: "It's incredibly tone-deaf to ask fans to spend even more money now when most of normal people are struggling to make rent right now."
So. Let me get this straight. You are making merch for people (many of whom are currently unemployed) to BUY to make a donation? There will now be factory workers required to be in close quarters to manufacture these items. The delivery drivers and shipment companies will need— Emily (@emily_jane831) April 7, 2020
or you know as y'all are millionaires you could give the money yourself and not ask to people who might have lost their job to give even more money away.— chloé. W△LLS (@chloe_ledx) April 7, 2020
how is making these t shirts safe? what about all the people making these and dispatching them? they’re clearly not ‘staying home’ and ‘staying safe’— A | (@finelineoverhs1) April 7, 2020
I love Harry, and this message, and I know a lot of money is going to be donated which is amazing... but I have to raise the question...don’t people have to go out to work to manufacture these shirts? Isn’t that really contradictory?— aiden ✯ misses Louis (@ToBeSoLounly) April 7, 2020
Quick reminder that 100% of the profits does not = 100% of the cost. It is more effective for you to donate directly to the charity. You do not need this merch. You do not need to be encouraging factory workers being comissioned to make this.— Emily Linka ♿️🏳️🌈 (@emilylinka) April 7, 2020
Also, it's incredibly tone deaf to ask fans to spend even more money now, when most of normal people are struggling to make rent right now. The US has had the biggest surge in unemployment in years, for example. A lot of my friends from the UK are losing their jobs as well.— Leonie (@pinkisloudest) April 7, 2020
While we have no doubt that Harry's intentions are good, it's understandable why people are calling out his t-shirts. As it stands, Harry is yet to respond to the backlash. We shall update you if he does.