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Obama and that 'Curious' t-shirt

(Credit: Politirazzi)

Latest on the Obama/Curious George T-shirt controversy: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher who owns the rights to the cartoon monkey, is thinking over its legal options.

According to reports, spokesman Rick Blake said: "We find it offensive and obviously utterly out of keeping with the value Curious George represents. We're monitoring the situation and weighing our options with respect to legal action."

The T-shirt behind the controversy - imprinted with an image of Curious George peeling a banana and the slogan: "Obama '08" - is the brainchild of Mike Norman, owner of Mulligan's Bar in Cobb County, home to the Republican Revolution of Newt Gingrich.He - and his bar - are no strangers to local controversy. Over the years he has posted signs outside the bar like "I wish Hillary had married OJ," "No habla espanol-and never will," and "I.N.S. Agents eat free." But now he's hit the bigtime, with a national audience for his lunacy.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Norman says he sees nothing wrong with the shirts. "Look at him," he told the paper, referring to the candidate. ". . . The hairline, the ears - he looks just like Curious George."

Norman said he'd noticed the resemblance while watching a Curious George movie with his grandchildren.

He says he's been selling the shirts since April. But sales picked up publicity this week, when local protesters demonstrated against them, saying the shirts were racist.

Norman, however, remains unabashed. "This is my marketing tool," he said.

-- Linda Perney

Tags: barack obama

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