AZ RALLY’S STATEMENT ON YANDY.COM’s RETIREMENT OF “SEXY NATIVE AMERICAN” COSTUMES & LINGERIE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 19, 2019

O’odham Territory/Phoenix, Az: Arizona to Rally Against Native Mascots (Az Rally), became aware that Yandy.com retired their Native American themed costumes and lingerie line but did not make a formal public statement. By not making a public statement, Yandy further ignores the existence of Indigenous people. We demand that Yandy take responsibility and accountability for their actions by publicly acknowledging and apologizing for their blatant mis-appropriation of Native American culture, including the hyper-sexualization of Indigenous women through a public statement.

Native people have urged Yandy to retire their line for years. In 2017, Native women protested at the Yandy headquarters in Phoenix, Az, after Yandy’s CEO Jeff Watton publicly stated they would not retire their Native line because the backlash they received was not as prominent as the Black Lives Matter campaign. Watton continued to ignore Native people after the protests, and even after the Change.org petition, (created by Zoe Rain in 2018 which has gained over 27,000 signatures) urging Yandy to retire their line, was delivered to Watton in 2018. It appears that even after Native women have urged and protested the use of their image, Yandy refuses to face or address Native people. 

Although we have not heard from Yandy as to why they retired the line, we are pleased they have done so. As we near Halloween, we call upon any and all corporations, affiliates, and private owned companies including but not limited to, Spirit Halloween (Owned by Spencer Gifts), Party City, Amazon, and other companies to follow suit and retire any and all Native American themed costumes. We demand these companies and customers divest from the hyper-sexualization of Indigenous women, end the mockery of our spiritual items and dress, and stop Native American cultural mis-appropriation through female, child and male costumes. It is time for this country to stop playing “Indian” and listen to Indigenous people. 

Background: Az Rally is a Phoenix based Indigenous advocacy group who works to raise awareness about the harmful effects of Native cultural mis-appropriation.

Contact: Amanda Blackhorse at 520-230-2837 and Marlena Robbins at 925-405-6007. Email: nomoremascots@gmail.com | Website: nomorenativemascots.org 

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