Next time you have a thought, Emmure, just let it go.
Emmure is no stranger to Shirt Stains and is no stranger to making problematic shirts. Front man and last remaining original member Frankie Palmeri released a series of t-shirts under the name Cold Soul a few years ago that ranged from “questionable” to “down-right awful”. These shirts ran the gamut of controversy, ranging from the promotion of racism to gun violence in schools to islamophobia. The clothing line was shut down by All In Merch, leaving the band to sell ignorant t-shirts on their own. Stupidity isn’t a one-time thing and Frankie P and company have once again poked their fugly heads out of their 0-0-0-1-0-0-0 foxholes to remind us that they’re still terrible people.
As we discussed on the Toilet Ov Hell podcast, Emmure released a shirt a “controversial” color changing shirt that shows a bruised and beaten woman. Controversial is in quotes because there should not be any controversy. There is nothing controversial about it because the abject terribleness should be apparent to all who gaze upon it. It is bad. It is wrong. It is reprehensible. It is deplorable. Domestic violence is a serious issue. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women have been victims of some form of domestic violence by a partner in their lifetime.
Frankie tried to explain the shirt as best as he could by saying (via):
“Look at yourself is about all the mistakes in my life, or things that i’ve had to figure out the hard way. its about self examination and really just taking a good, long, hard look at myself and exposing those parts of me, and also exposing other parts of other people.
the shirt design is in no way endorsing nor portraying domestic violence. the art was not meant to depict a beaten women, but a person with drug related issues. it was meant to portray a person who ignores all of their problems in life, someone who can look in the mirror and not see the issues they truly have. that was the whole basis of the product title “reflection”
this was a design that was presented to me by my management team, that i personally was not a big fan of the way it was illustrated. but in all honesty i didn’t even think about it from that perspective. the whole idea had always been about self reflection and a piece of artwork that we tried to associate with the emotions of the record.
we even intended to release another version similar to this for our upcoming tour; but instead of a girls face it would be my own face with the ink changing to depict a disgusting person.
the world is a beautiful place filled with disgust, it’s time to take a step back and look at yourself if you want to move forward.”
Does that explanation work for you? It doesn’t for me. Not even if I squint my eyes at just the right angle while someone bashes me in the back of the head with a stale baguette. Maybe this all makes sense in his head, but if it takes you that long to explain something, maybe it shouldn’t be made in the first place. This isn’t the first time Emmure has released a shirt dripping with misogyny and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. What kind of person sees this goes, “Yeeeeeeeah, this is for me!”? I’d rather not know.
A shirt like this, unintentional though it may be, promotes violence towards women. It is still available for sale via Sharptone Records on MerchNow.com. I’m not sure why neither the label nor the website have stepped up to take it down. Silence is acceptance, after all. If there was any true concern over how this shirt is perceived and the effect it has on women who have suffered from domestic violence, Emmure, Sharptone Records, and MerchNow should take the profits from sales of this shirt and donate to organizations that help these people. Here, I’ll get you started with a list of 20 places.
Despite what Frankie may think, this isn’t just to bag on Emmure because it’s the hip thing to do. This shirt is bad no matter what band name is attached to it. Bad in design, bad in concept, bad in execution. The smart thing to do would be to listen, recognize why people have a problem with it and move forward in a positive direction. You can do it. We believe in you. If you can, the results may be shocking.