The maker of a mannequin that bleeds when shot, and was named ‘The Ex,’ pulls the product. But that’s not the end of it.
It’s as if a bunch of guys at a local gun shop had a contest to see who could come up with the most offensive target, then followed it up with an equally lunk-headed discussion about what name would deflect enough criticism and cover their posteriors long enough to get it to market.
Well, Zombie Industries’ “The Ex” female mannequin target, which in no way resembled a zombie and bled when shooters hit it, had an improbable run. But the feeble-minded fun is over. The company said Thursday it will discontinue the target, and it offered an apology that had about as much sincerity as the company’s target had zombie features.
If Zombie Industries expects the National Rifle Association to come diving to its defense John Woo-style, with pistols firing in each hand, it hasn’t been paying attention. At its convention in Texas last week, the NRA forced Zombie Industries to take down a target being sold at the company’s booth that looked a whole lot like President Barack Obama (BuzzFeed still has the picture up).
A gun industry company that gets whacked by the NRA is a rarity. After all, this is the gun lobbying group that released a gun video game the same week it blasted video games in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings and just elected a president who considers the Civil War The War of Northern Aggression.
The $89.95 The Ex target is still available on the company’s website, though Zombie Industries CEO Roger Davis told The Huffington Post that it won’t be after Monday. He says his company is sorry if it offended anyone but is “disappointed that people’s feelings were hurt.” He added that “the female zombie target that we made is not intended to be a real woman; it is supposed to be a representation of a zombie.”
The first group offended should be zombie geeks, who know that zombies don’t have the pink hue to their skin that the mannequin does. That indicates life.
Also, zombies don’t bleed red, regular-looking blood as the target does. Zombies run on base vital functions, and their blood, if they have any, would be a dark, stagnant coagulant or some secondhand plasma from the last warm body they chowed down on.
Finally, a zombie is kind of the last thing you’d want to put in a bikini. That’s a lot of rotting flesh on display.
The second group offended, the women the target resembles, have been heard clearly. Women’s group UltraViolet just looked right past that throw-in “zombie” title and saw a company giving shooters an excuse to act out revenge fantasies against women. The group petitioned Amazon.com (AMZN +1.33%) to remove the target from its marketplace, which it did almost immediately.
The third offended demographic, folks who rail against “political correctness” as if it’s a topic anybody but their group is still discussing, has no need to worry. Zombie Industries says it’s bringing back the target with green skin — which makes it either a zombie, She-Hulk or Captain Kirk’s alien love interest on “Star Trek” — and is giving the target a new name, “Alexa.” The company’s right to be complete jerks about all this is fully intact. By Jason Notte