Retailer Apologizes for Posting Challenger Disaster Photo As Fireworks on Social Media

An American Apparel employee posted a photo of the Challenger disaster on social media, thinking it was fireworks; the retailer has since apologized and deleted the post.

Credit: American Apparel
Credit: American Apparel

American Apparel issued a public apology Thursday after the company posted a stylized picture to its Tumblr page of the space shuttle Challenger disaster thinking it was fireworks, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Feedback for the retailer was shift and very negative.

The company said it was a mistake by an employee who was born after the Challenger tragedy in 1986.

“We deeply apologize for today’s Tumblr post of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The image was re-blogged in error by one of our international social media employees who was born after the tragedy and was unaware of the event," the company said. "We sincerely regret the insensitivity of that selection and the post has been deleted.”

Example of the tweets after the apology:

  • "Being born AFTER an event is no excuse. I was born AFTER World War 2, but I still know it happened!!"
  • "While you're at it, you might want to tell that "international social media employee" about 9/11. You know, just in case..."
  • "Please hire someone who is knowledgable about the World and it's History, rather than blame it on ignorance and age."

Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space, was aboard Challenger when it exploded. 

McAuliffe grew up in Framingham, and attended Marian High School and Framingham State University in town. 

There are three buildings named for McAuliffe in town - Christa McAuliffe Library branch, Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School and the McAuliffe Center at Framingham State.


Originally posted at 2 p.m. Updated at 2:50 p.m. to fix a typo.


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