Disney Pulls Joy Division-inspired Mickey Mouse Tee

Disney has pulled their Joy Division-inspired Mickey Mouse T-shirt. The shirt in question filtered the iconic Mickey Mouse logo through the cover of Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures.

As Disney described it, “Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey’s image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!” Yup, because I know whenever I see Mickey Mouse “Disorder” suddenly pops into my head.

A representative from Disney explained “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.” Exactly what he meant by “an issue” is up for debate. While Disney did not approach any of the members of the band about the shirt, the graphic that Peter Saville based the album cover on was taken from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy and is public domain. Peter Hook even said that he was “flattered” by the shirt. And the shirt was popular – it sold out shortly before Disney decided to stop selling it. It’s likely that the “issue” was executives at Disney discovering either what Joy Division refers to or that Ian Curtis hanged himself. So an idea that likely began with clueless Disney executives sitting around a table saying things like “We need to appeal more to hipsters…what do hipsters like?” may have died with an “Oh god…Ian Curtis did what!?” or “Hey Gary, you should see this: Joy Division means….oh dear lord!” That or they actually listened to Joy Division for the first time.

The Mickey Mouse Joy Division shirt is now going for upwards of $200 on eBay. Irony isn’t cheap, kids.

Erik Oster is an Assistant Editor at The Faster Times and a writer, editor and musician from Fairfield County, Connecticut. After graduating Goucher College in 2008 with a degree in creative writing, ...read more

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