Another one for the “You couldn’t make this s*** up!” filing cabinet. A piece in today’s Times which would be more suited to the paper’s April Fools Day edition. Shame on Sainsbury’s for surrendering to these blithering idiots.
Sainsbury’s has bowed to pressure from domestic abuse campaigners by removing a “triggering” Roald Dahl-inspired mug they said promoted violence against women.
The mug had written on it the words, “A brilliant idea hit her”, a quote from the author’s 1988 book Matilda about a precocious five-year-old seeking revenge on her head teacher.
Activists had accused the supermarket of trivialising and promoting physical abuse against women through the mug that was on sale for £5.50.
Luis Labaton, head of Domestic Violence Assist, a domestic abuse charity, said he was horrified to see the mugs on sale at a store in Altrincham, Cheshire.
“Sainsbury’s has shown a lack of empathy for domestic violence victims by displaying these mugs . . . It shows just how far from reality they are,” he said.
Domestic Violence Assist which was founded in 2016, is the UK’s only registered charity specialising in arranging civil protection orders for domestic abuse victims and operates a 24/7 helpline.
Mr Labaton added: “It’s an insult to victims. This is further evidence that domestic abuse is not understood by so many.”
His comments provoked a storm on social media, with other irate users piling in to condemn the supermarket.
Dr Miranda Horvath, an academic researcher into violence against women at Middlesex University, wrote on Twitter: “This mug . . . is hugely problematic — we are trying to get them to stop selling it, apologise and make a huge donation to violence against women or girls charities.”
Another user said: “So do people wielding mugs. It’s not like there’s a shortage of literary quotes with marginally less potential to be triggering is it!”
This morning a spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s apologised to customers for “any upset this may have caused”, adding that the supermarket would be removing the mug from sale while the design was reviewed.
Others, however, decried the supermarket’s decision, describing the campaign to remove the item as “idiocy”.
Emma Webb, director of Civitas, a social policy think tank, commented: “How can the people on this thread not understand that ‘a brilliant idea hit her’ means ‘she had a brilliant idea’?
“It’s a quote from Matilda, for Christ’s sake. Stop trying to find offence where there is none!”
The full quote from the children’s book is: “When at last the germ of a brilliant idea hit her, she began to expand on it and lay her plans with the same kind of care the Duke of Wellington had done before the Battle of Waterloo.”
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