Big Thief have issued an apology for imagery on one of their merch items, an illustration of hands holding the bars of a jail cell printed onto one of their t-shirts, pictured above. They call it "reckless, offensive imagery," saying, "The jail cell was meant to be a metaphor symbolizing imprisonment and oppression of the mind and spirit because of constructs, etc... The arms were intended to be purple so as to avoid realism and race all together but we feel that that thinking was misdirected. We believe that something as pervasive, horrific and insidious as incarceration can not be lightly approached and most especially in avoidance of the issue of race, as the entire incarceration system is fueled by racism."
"The lack of attention we paid to this symbolism, to us, is a reason to bring it up," they continue. "Letting this image get printed on a shirt is just another example of a symptom of being conditioned in a culture of normalized white supremacy and we apologize to anyone who may have felt hurt or uncomfortable with this image."