This is obviously horrid and despicable, and frankly embarrassing. When we posted about the “yoga response” to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death and the subsequent aftermath we couldn’t have anticipated such a disgraceful showing. As Carol Horton points out at elephantjournal.com, Gaiam has a deal with cafepress.com which evidently doesn’t place restrictions on usage. Rightly outraged, Carol is calling for a protest of the Gaiam mats. However, CafePress has its own guidelines for prohibited content and we feel it’s somewhat unfair to point sole blame at Gaiam, but rather a matter for CP to handle.
CafePress Prohibited Content Guidelines:
- Content that may infringe on the rights of a third a party.
- Items that make inappropriate use of Nazi symbols and glamorize the actions of Hitler.
- Use of marks that signify hate towards another group of people.
- Hate and/or racist terms.
- Inappropriate content or nudity that is not artistic in nature.
- Content that exploits images or the likeness of minors.
- Obscene and vulgar comments and offensive remarks that harass, threaten, defame or abuse others such as F*** (Ethnic Group).
- Content that depicts violence, is obscene, abusive, fraudulent or threatening such as an image of a murder victim, morgue shots, promotion of suicide, etc.
- Content that glamorizes the use of “hard core” illegal substance and drugs such as a person injecting a vial of a substance in their body.
- Material that is generally offensive or in bad taste, as determined by CafePress.com.
Unfortunately, profiteering is to be expected in the land of the free, the home of the brave, patriotic and the entrepreneurially warped. Fortunately, we also somehow can’t imagine too many downdoggers so moved to commemorate the reported killing of a terrorist that they want to be reminded of it every time they bow in child’s pose.
This is so not over folks. Stand strong yogis.
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UPDATE: From Gaiam on facebook
Yes, we are aware of this, and we are working to have all associated products removed from the CafePress site ASAP and to ensure that this does not happen in the future. Please know that this is in no way condoned by Gaiam. We did not create these mats but only provide the blank mats for CafePress customers to customize. Thanks for your concern!
UPDATE PART TWO 5/5/11 via facebook: Gaiam removes all mats from CafePress
Until recently, Gaiam sold blank yoga mats to CafePress for customization and resale. Unfortunately, their customization engine has recently been used by certain users to promote images and statements that we (and many of our customers and friends) find distasteful and offensive. We want all of our Gaiam family to understand how seriously we take this matter and we have moved swiftly to rectify this situation.