Respawn suspended Apex Legends skin for Chinatown Market. The suspension comes from the surprise brand change, one day before arrival.
The apparel company is pushing for an overhaul in response to complaints from the AAPI community.
Chinatown Market gets flak for “cultural theft”
To everyone out of the loop, Chinatown Market is a cult streetwear brand based in Los Angeles. Much of its apparel was supposedly low-cost, fast-fashion but eventually grew into a bigger brand.
proud to work at a company that considers its impact on the world at large. pic.twitter.com/JJo6mar3dU
— CHINATOWN MARKET (@ChinatownMarket) March 29, 2021
Recently, the company came under fire due to the growing hate for people of Asian descent. It caught fire when a petition on change.org questioned the brand’s use of the name.
“…the concept of Chinatown is not for sale, especially not by a white person who only uses the word Chinatown as a synonym for bootleg,” said the petition. “It is an act of cultural theft for a white person to profit off of people like Lebron James, Alicia Keys, and many others wearing CHINATOWN clothing.”
In response to the flak, the company is pushing through a rebrand, affecting many of its partnerships.
Respawn likely blindsided by rebrand
Respawn’s Apex Legends was planning to release brand partnership skins with Chinatown Market. Specifically, the game was planning to release a Sundown Desperado skin for Bloodhound and Mic Check skin for Lifeline.
The skins will come back with a fresh look after the rebrand.
For more on CTM's decision:https://t.co/s2cpiGUVF8
— Respawn (@Respawn) March 29, 2021
The plan was to roll out the skins on March 30, but those plans are now on hold. Chinatown Market announced the rebrand before the day ended.
“Our name was inspired by the shops, people, and vibrance of Canal Street and Chinatown in New York but it’s not our name to use,” said the company in a tweet.
“We did not do enough to consider what this name would mean to communities in Chinatowns across the world, and we need to take ownership of this mistake. It’s time to do the right thing, and we are committed to be a part of the change.”
A new name will come out for the apparel brand in the coming months. For now, their items that are still under their old name will go to charity. Profits will go to organizations that support the AAPI community, likely including Stop AAPI Hate.
From what it seems, Apex Legend devs and publishers Respawn and EA were likely surprised. Their tweet came out only hours after the tweet from the apparel brand.
Featured image courtesy of Apex Legends/Twitter