[UPDATE: Store Issues Apology] 'Respect' for MLK: Surf Shop Celebrates With '20% Off All Black Products' Sale

MLK_Sale_Small.png
From thaliasurf.com
Dr. King was a surfer?!
UPDATE, JAN. 18, 12:40 P.M.: Thalia Surf Shop has issued an apology on its official blog. See bottom of post for more info.

ORIGINAL ITEM, JAN. 17, 3:30 P.M.: Sure, we've all seen stores and restaurants play up holiday sales for the sakes of their bottom lines. But there are times when someone with a decent head on their shoulders should speak up and call a bad idea a "bad idea."

For instance, when the country is celebrating the birthday of, arguably, the most influential civil-rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., boasting a sale with "20% Off All Black Products" is about as bad an idea as bad ideas go.

The ad is after the jump.

When MLK made the statement "I have a dream," the following is probably the furthest thing from what he had in mind for equality among all people:

MLK_Sale_Big.jpg
A bad idea.
Putting the head of Dr. King on the body of a surfer wearing a wetsuit to promote a MLK Day sale is worthy of a giggle. People like a well-Photoshopped gag. But the rest is pretty damn inexcusable.

The culprit? Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna Beach. It appeared on the website. Certainly a great shop, with plenty of cool events and gatherings--we recognized it as Best Surf Shop in OC in 2009--but this was not the wisest ad campaign. 

As the individual who alerted the Weekly to the ad said, "This is not acceptable. It's not funny, amusing nor respectable."

Respect? Not quite.

UPDATE: Thalia Surf Shop has issued an apology on the store's official blog:

'Respect' Image Apology

Jan. 18, 2011: Yesterday, we at Thalia Surf sent out a newsletter announcing our MLK Day Sale. In no way did we intend to hurt or offend anyone. For those that took offense or disrepect, we truly are sorry. We took down the ad for our sale to hopefully calm the waters and in the future will be more careful in our selection of promotions. We appreciate the support from customers and patrons of Thalia Surf that know us and know that we meant no harm. Thanks.
Nick Cocores
Owner, Thalia Surf
My Voice Nation Help
99 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Computer Forensics Expert
Computer Forensics Expert

Actually, if Passover was coming around and they had a sale of 20% off Magen-David wine, would that be an insult?  How about Easter and 20% off Easter eggs? Go to a surf shop, and a lot of things are "black."  Clothing, acessories, bags, wet suits, and the list oges on.  If anything, it apprears that they were encouraging people who are black to take-up surfing as a hobby. Nick Cocores, the owner of and the team at Thalia Surf, should be commended, not condemned.

Chainsaw
Chainsaw

Give me a break! No apologies necessary. Anyone see the Gieco commercial with "Honest Abe"? You hear anyone squaking for apologies from Gieco? The add was funny and hurts nobody. You don't want the 20% off the black items, go buy them next week. Tirds.

Honeybeehazel18
Honeybeehazel18

wow orange county really is full of racist douche bags. can't wait to leave this ignorant county

Cleverchimp
Cleverchimp

How about a John F. Kennedy Sale? All white items 20% off! ...Or a 9/11 sale would be cutting edge and clever too. As many people mentioned, "Don't be so PC".

snakepit
snakepit

telling people to "lighten up" about this ad is ridiculous. There is nothing "light heart" about the civil rights movement. This ad is ingenuous. It doesn't wit to be raciest. Those who think that people who are offended by this are too serious have never read a text book. Cheap commercialism with raciest undertones takes the education level of the third grader. Get with it! Plus the fact that this ad waas probably done by rich white kids in Laguna Beach does not help the cause. Whats next antisemitic ads as well? This ad is dumb.

Lagunamom
Lagunamom

I totally agree with you...the guys behind Thalia Street are white & clueless. They obviously live in a huge bubble. What's more offensive, the N word or whitey?????

Brandon Kline
Brandon Kline

This isn't funny, and it's quite honestly sort of offensive. That being said, they apologized--no harm, no foul.

JKIKAWA
JKIKAWA

Thalia St. showing their true O.C. heart. Last time I stopped in they were selling a t-shirt making fun of the poverty in Mexico with a picture of an outhouse with a spray painted message, "Mexican NASA."

Southparkbuddha
Southparkbuddha

I love the politically correct and how they're being respectful...but hey, I loved seeing MLK in a wetsuit.

Blahblah
Blahblah

Oh please people need to get a life. They were honoring Dr. King and that should be recognized.

Cc
Cc

Nick Cocores, owner of Thalia Surf Shop:I laughed so much at your ad! What a sence of humor! Thank you to your person who had the sence of humor for your ad. To bad people took it the wrong way. Best laugh I had in a long time! Next time I am in your town, will drop by. Wish Huntington Beach thought of that!

getoverit
getoverit

Was anyone hurt with this add? Get over it, anyones comments will not please everyone.

Harry Cunningham
Harry Cunningham

Inexcusable? Puh-lease. Lighten up, America. Learn to take a joke. I bet even MLK himself would have seen the funny side. Talk about a lot of fuss about nothing.

Dk
Dk

You are such an ignorant redneck jerk! (Just kidding. Can't you take a joke?)

John Dee
John Dee

Gustavo missed his nightly hate meeting.Funny how the OC Weekly gives him a pass to be a racist POS.

long time customer
long time customer

Thalia Surf Shop products and staff are equally great- anyone who has ever been there knows that to be true. Just as they would know that no harm or disrespect was intended by this advertisement. Quit overthinking it!!!

Dk
Dk

You are a stupid redneck ass. You get 20% off everything red!

Oops! Just kidding - can't you take a joke?

Wills
Wills

Boycott Vans

BDweezy
BDweezy

Definitely lacking a bit of taste and probably missed a final QA check ( or did it?) but defintely some genius mixed in here. This will probably get some time on The Soup, The Late Show, and Kimmel....or something alike. Not worth worrying about we all make mistakes and I know the crew feels bad. Don't like it boycott Thalia. That will show them. I, however, will continue to support because it is quite simply the best surf shop in SO CAL and I know the vision is good.....despite a temporary loss of clarity.

Brad L.
Brad L.

Here in Jackson Hole we had a restaurant with a band and cover for $7. Black people get in free. Oh and they quoted MLK with a slight change: "I have a bacon cheeseburger!"

Dk
Dk

The issue is not MLK in a wetsuit. The issue is using the phrase "20% off all black products."

Most of you posters have never experienced racism so you can't understand how it feels. (Except if you are a white person and you go to Hawaii- then you might know how it feels).

Guest
Guest

they were reffering to the color of the products, not the intended consumer. chill your shit.

DK
DK

It's obvious that they are referring to products. But there is an inference that there are talking about "black" as in people because of the adjacency to the image of Dr. King.

So chill your shit.

Guest
Guest

Heaven forbid! You mean to tell me that this horrible surf shop sent out an ad that inferred or implied that the late MLK was...no...was....black? And on MLK Day nonetheless! Those ignorant, clearly racist, no good surfers discounted black wetsuits and black t shirts! Oust them for their idiocy! They did something else too, right? or..wait...wait a minute...oh, I just read the story, turns out thats....all....they...did. Hmm, well that's a let down, I look better in white anyway, Oh no! Now I'm racist too!!

freetian
freetian

most people aren't used to seeing MLK used in advertisements, whereas Lincoln and Washington are commonly used to sell products every February. in my opinion, these guys were trying to be creative, but obviously the idea wasn't well thought out. read their blog, they issued an apology for any offense.

anon
anon

Get the stick out of your butts, start accepting comedy and new ideas.

Jack Reno
Jack Reno

Well, we learned from Eric Holder yesterday that MLK sparked the environmental movement, so is there really anything that MLK can't do? Including walking the nose?

GhostofPrior
GhostofPrior

Can't we all just get along? It's a joke. I laughed at Richard Prior "white folks" jokes. You should do the same.

Would anyone be upset if they put Washington's head on the websuit?

OCtotheHeart
OCtotheHeart

I would definitely be upset. We all know George preferred skiing!! His head on a wetsuit...the insanity!

La
La

Thank you for reminding me why I don't miss the OC at all. Once you move to LA, OC is as backwater as southern KKK country, no matter how those white folk down there wanna dress and act.

c'mon
c'mon

How many people posting on here are actually black. I would think very few. Why don't we stop saying how outraged by an advertisement we are, laugh a little, and then get to work on important race issues, like shrinking the education gap, increasing opportunities for blacks, and decreasing the unequal rate at which black are incarcerated.

Si
Si

Stop committing crimes and they won't be incarcerated.

Si
Si

Lets see Abe Lincoln can be used to advertise for Presidents day sales. He was assassinated but nobody seems to have a problem with that. You people are so dam hyper sensative and yes I said and meant "YOU PEOPLE". I live in So Cal no I don't shop at this shop but I think I will check them out. Whites are not the most racist people. Look in the mirror people who keep on claiming to be held down. You are the most racist pains in the a$$. Oh yeah I am not white.

Wills
Wills

How irie can u get? Long term this was a bad idea, especially in light of the Vans relationship. Trust me Doug Palladini from Vans got, then made a few phone calls.

Nada Name Dropper
Nada Name Dropper

Wow...thanks mister industry-man-who-is-still-mad-he-works-for-nike-and-not-vans. You've got quite an intuitive mind! I'd totally follow you on twitter.

Johan Frankenstien
Johan Frankenstien

Its no different than making a buck off of Washington or Lincoln.

Hoosiercheetah
Hoosiercheetah

I think it's funny as hell. I will defiantly do all of my surf shopping at Thalia from now on.The fact that Chasen Marshall has no sense of humor makes it even funnier to me!Thank you, Chas for helping my find my new favorite surf shop, all the way from Indiana.

herb
herb

yeah I like the ad. Think all go get a black 5 mil hooded wetsuit from them right now. Have a sense of humor. Life's Too Short.

Barabus
Barabus

Are they worried about a boycott? I think not.

Amceramicandstone
Amceramicandstone

Oh No ! A surf shop boycotted by blacks . That will harm their business

JerryS
JerryS

I have a dream...and it's that my wife doesn't find out that me and JJ are here in the hotel with a couple of white women.

Rss02c
Rss02c

Pretty damn creative! Everyone needs to relax and laugh every now and then.....

Ragdoll
Ragdoll

what a bunch of PC pussies , if you dont like it , dont fuckin go there , and quit all the suck whining tellin everyone else how they should think the way YOU do .

None
None

Lighten up, Francis.

Illegaltrees
Illegaltrees

rofl gr8 idea stop crying lets have a black history week sale everything white 70% off

Tony 4430
Tony 4430

Black people should boycott Thalia Surf Shop... that will show 'em! haha

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Fashion

Loading...