Aeropostale apparently doesn’t read Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube or any other teen-dominated social network, because it just decided to partner with Nash Grier, a Vine star who’s faced severe backlash for homophobic remarks in his content.
Grier is joined by fellow Vine stars Carter Reynolds, Hayes Grier, and Cameron Dallas in an Aeropostale deal that makes them brand ambassadors for a new line of clothing. Grier isn’t the only celebrity partner who’s been in hot water in the last year, with Dallas reprimanded for sexist YouTube videos by the community. Grier came under fire earlier this year when fellow YouTube personality Tyler Oakley called him out for homophobic language in a particular Vine. However, Grier’s use of homophobic slurs wasn’t contained to a single Vine, and is well-documented across several social media posts.
Despite general community backlash, Grier’s actions have had little professional consequences. The clothing deal is just another on the list of partnerships the Vine celebrity has retained, including a movie deal. However, backlash to digital celebrities has caused companies to pull out of deals in the past. Most recently Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake removed Vine star Curtis Lepore from upcoming TV show Hollywood and Vine, which follows Vine stars as they transition to mainstream media. Lepore pleaded guilty to felony assault and was accused of rape earlier this year by fellow Vine star Jessi Smiles.
Aeropostale released a statement sharing its excitement for partnering with the youth, while fans reacted on social media to the collaboration.
Aeropostale hiring Nash Grier to gain brand awareness. Who does your PR? Fire them. pic.twitter.com/QV0NAjWr4X
— Blonde In Vuitton (@VuittonAndVodka) October 28, 2014
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) October 28, 2014
What’s worse than Aeropostale ? An Aeropostale clothing brand endorsed by Nash Grier…
— boots (@lussowo) October 28, 2014
No, @Aeropostale, hiring Nash Grier is bad. Let someone else have a clothing line.
— rikki poynter (@rikkipoynter) October 28, 2014