Midnight on Saturday, I found myself walking down Main Street U.S.A. after a long day at the Magic Kingdom. I was there to celebrate my sister's birthday and had met up along with former New Times music editor Arielle Castillo, Ocean Drive's Crissy Borges, and their respective significant others.
After we finished our last ride, Splash Mountain, which I sat out because big drops are not my idea of a fun time, I suggested we do some souvenir shopping on our last night before returning to Miami. Mind you, I never actually buy anything. I think I'm too cool to wear anything emblazoned with Disney characters -- even if done so ironically. My feet hurt. But still, I wanted to browse the Mouse merch.
After entering the Emporium, the largest store in the Magic Kingdom, our group of six split up. And 15 minutes later, I ran into Arielle and her boyfriend, Anthony, standing in the far back of the store, glaring at a t-shirt.
"Did you see this? It's the Joy Division cover with Mickey," said Arielle.
We all sort of laughed, thinking how unusual it was that such an iconic cover like 1979's Unknown Pleasures was authorized to be used by the Mouse. There were no women's sizes, though. So Arielle skipped on buying a potential conversation starter.
On Monday, Pitchfork pointed out the t-shirt. "Does Disney know that the singer of this band hanged himself?! Do they
know where the name 'Joy Division' comes from?!"
Well, the name comes from alleged group of Jewish women who were kept for the sexual pleasures of Nazi soldiers during World War II. Real family friendly, huh?
On Tuesday, MTV Hive spoke with former Joy Division bassist Peter Hook asking him if he was aware that the tee was being sold.
"Not to my knowledge. Since the others don't talk to me I wouldn't know. I have seen a lot of Mickey Mouse t-shirts in my time. But I have to say this is probably the best... I hope that [Disney] will be as understanding when we start doing Donald Duck shirts."
Yesterday, Pitchfork reported that Disney pulled the shirt in question. "As soon as we became aware there could be an issue, we pulled it from our shelves and our online store to review the situation further," a representative told the site.
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Later that afternoon, Crissy called Disney to see if indeed the shirt had been pulled. (She acted as if she was unaware of the issue, only saying that she had seen a shirt this past Saturday and was interested in purchasing it.) The lady on the phone said, "I know exactly what shirt you are talking about. We pulled those because that's already an album cover."
So our chance to cash in on Disney's legal indiscretion slipped through our hands. Those who could look past how idiotic it was for the Disney brand to spoof a band whose lead singer committed suicide are now in possession of highly collectable item.
If you're interested in purchasing a contraband Mickey-Mouse-meet-Joy-Division tee, eBay's got one going for $202.50.