Tesco sorry for 'offensive' gay doll
The supermarket giant Tesco has apologised for advertising an inflatable "gay best friend" doll on its British website.
The figure was described as being "ready to give you fashion advice, tell you if your bum looks big and b**ch about everyone who doesn't wear Jimmy Choos".
The figure, which was not available on the Irish website, was described as an "amusing gift" and "suitable for three- to four-year-olds", and appeared with the description: "If 'Sex in the City' and 'Will & Grace' taught us anything, it's that g*y best friends are in this season."
The UK's biggest retailer said it had removed the "offensive item" and that the product had not been sold. But it comes days after it was forced to remove a Halloween costume labelled "psycho ward" from its shelves.
Asda also apologised earlier this week after it advertised a "mental patient" costume. Critics said both costumes stigmatised people with mental health issues.
Twitter users reacted angrily yesterday to the inflatable doll, as well as to the supermarket's decision to use an asterisk in the middle of the word "gay." Activist Peter Tatchell tweeted: "Can @Tesco explain its G*y Best Friend doll? Why is the word gay censored?"
A Tesco spokeswoman said the product was uploaded to the website by a third-party seller, but was "removed from sale immediately because we found it offensive".
She added: The webpage should have been removed at that time. We have very clear guidelines for third-party sellers who list items on our website, and are very sorry that on this occasion they weren't followed." (© Independent News Service)