Amazon Pulls ‘High Castle’ Ads With Nazi Imagery From New York Subway Following Outcry
Online retail giant Amazon has decided to withdraw a rather extensive ad campaign featured throughout the New York subway system that showed US flags overlaid with German Nazi and Japanese Imperial symbols, Buzzfeed reported on Tuesday. It was a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, not Amazon, who told the reporters.
Passengers were shocked on Tuesday to discover the ads plastered on the New York City subway chairs, including one New York city assemblyman who called on holiday shoppers to say “no” to Amazon this season; assemblyman Dov Hikind is a Brooklyn native and son of Holocaust survivors.
“Amazon knows exactly what they are doing,” Hikind said, according to the New York Observer. “The pain they are causing by plastering the subway with Nazi regalia is disgusting.” Many critics noted that Holocaust survivors were actually forced to ride on the subway on Tuesday, along with the suggestive Nazi imagery. Some noted the irreverence of the ads appearing on a train.
One of the ads showed a US flag with the white stars replaced with the Nazi eagle emblem, or the Parteiadler, with a cross instead of a swastika. Another showed a vague mashup of the US and Japanese Rising Sun flags, the latter of which, unlike the Nazi flag in Germany, can still be flown legally in Japan today.
The new Amazon series, “The Man in the High Castle,” based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel of the same name, is set in an alternative world that shows what life after WWII would be like in America if the Nazis had won the war.
Needless to say, users on social media were up in arms. Free speech advocate Pamela Gellar, notable for helping to organized a Muhammad cartoon-drawing contest, slammed Amazon and the MTA, which banned her political group’s ads when it axed all political ads earlier this year.
— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) November 24, 2015
Criticism continued to trickle in on Twitter even after MTA’s announcement.
— ian smile (@endashes) November 24, 2015
— Boo Boo Reports (@askbooboo) November 24, 2015