Black Milk Clothing is a clothing brand whose nerdy apparel line gained them a cult-like following. A recent Facebook post, however, has caught them with their skirt in the wind and their flies down.The post was:
and it upset fans due to Black Milk Clothing going against their own commandments:
- Commandment #1 – You shall be excellent to one another.
- Commandment #5 – You shall not make critical comments on other women’s bodies.
The impression that the post had on fans is that Mayim Bialik (Amy from The Big Bang Theory) on the right has a less desirable body/is less attractive than the model on the left hand side. After fans of the page commented on the picture, pointing out that the picture goes against the company’s self-imposed commandments, the comments were either deleted or they were met with condescending replies by a representative of Black Milk Clothing, Alicia. After fans realized what was happening, the amount of displeased comments surged, with fans calling out Black Milk Clothing, asking them to apologize and remove the post.
Black Milk flat out refused to remove the post, and instead began to defend themselves against fans, claiming that they were just poking fun at themselves. This was, aside from a bonehead marketing move, an even bigger insult to the fans of the brand. However, yet again, Black Milk decided not to remove the post, but rather to remove the comments. Their excuse for removing the comments were that they weren’t positive enough to be featured on the post, because people who were offended were the minority and were not allowing the fans who agreed with the post to have fun with it.
This resulted in many of the fans commenting on how badly Black Milk were handling the situation, as they did not seem to be concerned with how much they were offending people. However, Black Milk just seemed to blow these comments off, deleting the comments and banning people from the page. Some fans were banned without even posting comments, instead just liking comments or watching the thread. Black Milk even stated that some fans should just unlike the page, claiming that they should stop supporting Black Milk if they consider the ‘harmless post’ out of line.
Many of the fans who were banned are people who helped put the brand on the map; some owned fan pages dedicated to the website. These fans took to their pages to complain about how badly Black Milk had handled the situation, some event went as far as to contact the brand’s licensing partners.
After 24 hours of comments and deletions, Black Milk finally took the thread down. However, they did not apologize for the thread, and instead posted this:
Hey guys, we have had a really good think about this situation and we have come to a decision. We plan on deleting this post (in a few minutes) because we feel it is giving a platform for hateful comments about the brand we know and love. All that we want to do is create beautiful clothes, not deal with internet raging. So let’s close this off. In terms of the major issues people have mentioned, here are our feelings:
1. This is a joke, harmless, not hateful. We like to have a joke and poke fun at ourselves. Be cool with it. 2. Yes, we removed a lot of negative comments because we felt like they had overstepped the mark! We are constantly hearing from our customers that our fan page has become a place of complaining and attacking, and they are sick of it! So we are working at trying to communicate that complaining and negativity all the time is not okay. We have the right to do that, and people should respect that. 3. Yes, people were banned, again, because we felt they had overstepped the mark and were being disrespectful. You can share your opinion, but you can’t attack our staff. We love them too much. Of course, many people are saying that they were banned for “respectfully sharing their opinion”. But there are two sides to every story. 4. We LOVE our customers, but yes, we believe that if you get really upset by the way we do things, you should probably move on and not be a part of what we are doing. That’s not mean, that’s just to save all of us more frustration! 5. “Why can’t you just admit that you were wrong and apologise. Is it so hard?” Because we have integrity. Because we didn’t do anything wrong, so we have nothing to apologise for! We stand up for what we believe in. People can have differences of opinions about what is right and wrong, right?
Hope that makes sense. Thanks so much to all the kind and supportive comments (and hugs) from girls all over the world who are looking forward to a much more positive BM space.
– All the BM team (yes, all of us!)
This did not have the desired effect on all fans, as many were still upset and soon became offended that Black Milk did not find it necessary to apologize. Due to this, many have decided that they will no longer support the brand and have parted ways with biting words. The amount of likes on the Facebook page have seen a drop of several thousand and many fan pages have been deleted.
It seems that Black Milk Clothing needs to learn what we all did in grade school: own up to your mistakes.