American retailer Target is facing criticism from shoppers for selling Christmas-themed sweaters that allegedly pokes fun at people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Consumers and mental health advocates are upset at Target's new sweaters that read "OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder," accusing the company of making light of the serious mental condition that affects around 2.2 million adults in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
People have turned to social media to express their disapproval of the store's new line of holiday clothing.
Twitter user Dean Winchester wrote that as a person who has struggled with the condition for six years, he is very angry at Target for selling such sweaters.
Reign Murphy, a self-confessed OCD sufferer herself, tweeted that she would appreciate it if the store did not sell her condition as a "fashion statement."
Kate Gannon wrote on her Twitter account that Target's sweater is not cute or funny. She pointed to the seriousness of OCD as a mental illness and that it should not be mocked.
they're selling these at target and as someone who has struggled with OCD for six years im pretty pissed off pic.twitter.com/EUaR0Oflfg
— dean winchester (@philsadelphia) November 3, 2015
@Target as someone with OCD I'd really appreciate it if you didn't sell my illness as a fashion statement pic.twitter.com/34egtLAkof — Reign (@ReignMurphy) October 25, 2015
— Kate G (@garrulouskate) October 29, 2015
People on Facebook have also posted their thoughts on the controversial clothing on the store's official page. "Making light of mental illness continues to enforce the stigma against those who suffer," Candy Clymer wrote. "It is sad to see that Target, a major retailer, has decided to shill this product." Other consumers, however, went online as well to show their support for Target's marketing strategy. "Hey @Target, tell the people who are obsessing about your OCD sweater to take their Zoloft!" Austin Mayse tweeted. "I have #OCD, and I like the sweater."
Hey @Target, tell the people who are obsessing about your OCD sweater to take their Zoloft! I have #OCD, and I like the sweater. — Not Not Austin Mayse (@AustinMayse) November 10, 2015
Josh Thomas, a representative of Target, said the company apologizes for any discomfort the Christmas sweater's design may have caused. He added that they did not wish to disappoint any of their shoppers.
Target, however, does not have any plans to remove the Christmas-themed sweaters from its stores, according to Thomas.
According to reports, Target is not the only retailer to offer the controversial holiday sweaters as restaurant chain Cracker Barrel also sell "OCD" items in its gift stores.