I was scrolling on Twitter earlier, minding my own business, when I came across a tweet that ruined my day.
The tweet read, “Babe, what’s wrong? You’ve hardly worn you Schindler’s List leggings?” and included a photo of a pair of leggings on a sales rack. The leggings appear to have the poster for the 1993 Holocaust film “Schindler’s List” screen-printed across them. The patchwork design includes photos of Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, the nameless little girl in the red jacket walking down railroad tracks, Ralph Fiennes as Nazi commandant Amon Göth and Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern.
The tweet, which was initially posted on April 17, 2022, has since gone viral, with 59.3K likes at time of writing this.
Babe, what’s wrong? You’ve hardly worn your Schindler’s List leggings. pic.twitter.com/8G29dLqAVC
— Emily Murnane (@emily_murnane) April 18, 2022
I’m sorry to have shown you this tweet and to have potentially also ruined your day. But beyond my initial horror and disgust emerged another emotion: curiosity. Is this photo real? If so, what store or brand is selling these leggings? And most importantly: Why?!
Just as I was about to go full sleuth mode, I discovered the answers to some of these questions were actually not all that hard to find.
I initially reached out to Emily Murnane, the user who posted the viral Tweet, to see what information I could find from her. As it turns out, Emily did not take the photo herself. Rather, her boyfriend sent her the photo, which he had seen posted on an Instagram account called @thriftstoreart.
This led me to Elise Brown, the photographer of these heinous leggings and the key to this mystery. According to Elise, she came across the leggings in a Goodwill in Long Beach, California. Though she initially was not planning on buying them, her friend, who is a Jewish comedian, asked her to buy them for him. She did so — for $8.
“I just want to be really clear that, aside from Thrift Store Art, I haven’t posted anything about them because I’m an Episcopalian-raised, European white woman and it’s not my story to tell. I’m giving them to a Jewish comedian because that feels like the best place for this story,” Elise told me via Instagram DMs.
Elise also instructed me to “make it very clear that these [leggings] make me feel very uncomfortable and don’t belong to me for comment other than noting they exist and passing them on to people who can speak to their existence and humor, or lack thereof.”
I do feel slightly at ease knowing that these “Schindler’s List” leggings are in Jewish hands. However, Elise mentioned that she and her friends discovered where the leggings most probably originated. Which takes us to the last stop on our investigative journey: RedBubble.
In this RedBubble shop, you can buy multiple clothing products with movie poster and art designs on them, including many products featuring the poster from “Schindler’s List.” I understand perhaps someone wanting to buy a print of the poster. It is an Academy Award-winning film, after all.
At best, these items are a thoughtless inclusion in a random person’s RedBubble store. At worst, putting the poster for “Schindler’s List” on every day merchandise and selling them for profit commercializes the Holocaust, is borderline antisemitic and downplays the significance of the events the movie is based off of.
When I initially reached out to Elise Brown, she said of the leggings, “These should not exist.”
I think that sentiment applies towards the vast majority of these products.