On Monday, a Mickey Mouse T-shirt on sale at the Disney Store started an uproar in the music community. Here’s how it was described in the Disney Store’s online listing: “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!”
Yes, Disney made a Joy Division t-shirt for that crossover fan base. All two of them. Considering the lead singer of the group committed suicide, that Joy Division’s name came from military brothels, and fans of the group are often vocal and crotchety, the choice was strange to say the least.
Now Pitchfork reports that a representative from Disney told them: “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.”
The band’s bass player, Peter Hook, who now plays in New Order, spoke to NME about the shirt. He took the homage well, telling NME, “In a funny way, it’s quite a compliment for a huge conglomerate like Disney to pick up on a poor little Manchester band that only existed for a couple of years.” He continued, “I’m amazed they’re that hard up that they need to prey on little indie bands, but I get the feeling that someone may have done it as a tongue-in-cheek compliment.”
While the shirts have been pulled by Disney, the secondary market is running wild. Shirts are already selling on eBay for more than $250. If music fans don’t want to shell out that much cash, they can still show their Disney pride with the “Vinyl Rocks” shirt for just $24.95.
Want to pay homage to Joy Division, sans Mickey? Watch them perform “She’s Lost Control” off of their 1979 album Unknown Pleasures below: