SAN FRANCISCO — Fashion designer Kenneth Cole got a harsh dressing down on Thursday after posting a Twitter message that played on the turmoil in Egypt to promote his latest fashion line.
By midday Cole had removed the comment, which bore a “#Cairo” hashtag used to mark messages related to protests calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo,” Cole’s Twitter message read. “Rumor is they heard that our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo.”
Online denizens emphatically condemned the tweet, many in bluntly insulting terms.
“Really, KenDoll — anyone who would even think to make that sort of remark needs to be taken down a notch,” a person with the screen-name ‘Zoey’ said in heated chat forum on Cole’s page at social networking website Facebook.
“Enjoy the virtual lashing!”
People posted mocking tweets pretending to promote Cole clothing or stores with light-hearted references to hurricane-induced flooding in New Orleans and the attack that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.
“I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt,” Cole said in a Facebook post after removing the Twitter message that triggered online ire.
“I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate.”
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