A men’s bracelet described as a silver AEO metal cuff is being pulled off the shelves after critics claimed the bracelet resembled part of a pair of shackles, invoking imagery of incarceration and slavery.
Ironically, in addition to looking like old-time handcuffs (which were known as Darby handcuffs and used well into the 20th Century by police around the world), the item does resemble a shackle of sorts: a threaded bow shackle (also known as an anchor shackle), which is used for nautical and industrial purposes such as rigging and towing. In addition, similar items are used to hang pipes and clamp hoses- known as pipe hangers and hose clamps.
Still, in an era where many are seemingly offended by anything (which can be disastrous for business), American Eagle stepped in and pulled the item from shelves.
“We’ve heard and understand the concerns about the bracelet,” the company said in a statement. “We apologize and will remove the product from our stores and website.”
When asked in person, people said it was offensive, or that they could see how it might be considered offensive.
On Facebook however, the local news outlet got a different response.
In addition to an overwhelming “no,” many offered their insights in the comment section.
“Well we all should stop doing anything,” Ken Malone wrote. “We might offend someone.”
“Home Depot sells these,” Daniel Burger responded, sarcastically suggesting a boycott on the hardware chain.
Interestingly enough, the real variant of the Darby handcuff is still used today- but mostly in the bedroom. With that in mind, it really begs the question- just who thought of this specific fashion item, anyway?