A UK travel firm that specializes in holidays for over-50s has come under fire on social media and branded “xenophobic,” after customers were sent a brochure promoting a cruise “exclusively for Brits.”
Twitter user Anthony Bale took to social media on Thursday to claim his mother had been left “shocked” and “outraged” after being sent the ‘Brits only’ Saga travel magazine. He posted a picture of the front cover that reads: “Exclusively For Brits. Exclusively Adults Only. Exclusively For Over 50’s.”
Outraged phonecall from my mother: she was shocked to receive @SagaUK brochure advertising cruises “exclusively for Brits.” She asked me why they would say this & if it’s legal. 🤷🏽♂️
(Also, in terms of grammar pedantry, “Exclusively Adult Only” + “For Over 50’s” is distressing) pic.twitter.com/3giXg5iybD
— Anthony Bale (@RealMandeville) September 19, 2019
It prompted a savage backlash on Twitter, with some immediately accusing the firm of racism.
“As a childless British over-50 I am presumably their target market. I’d rather take a trip to Dignitas than die of boredom on a Saga cruise for “Brits.” Brexit marketing for middle-England racists,” BritMuscovite tweeted.
Pretty close to no dogs, no Irish,, no blacks which I saw back in the 1960s
— Martin Longley #NHSLove #FBPE (@minlongley) September 19, 2019
The connection to Brexit has figured heavily for critics who insist that this is “xenophobic” and “nationalist rubbish.”
Others joked that they appear to have missed ‘exclusively for white people’ from the front of the brochure.
The company has blamed their business partner, cruise.co.uk, who, they say, apologise for any offence the “inaccuracy” may have caused. Saying it’s “not a Saga brochure,” the firm insisted that anybody over the age of 50 of any nationality is welcome on their tours and cruises.
This is not a Saga brochure. Our partners at https://t.co/cMByEGL4cj are extremely sorry for any offence the inaccuracy in their leaflet may have caused. Saga cruises all depart from the UK but we welcome anybody, of any nationality, over the age of 50 on our cruises.
— Saga (@SagaUK) September 19, 2019
The mess-up comes at the worst time imaginable for the company, as the Leave and the Remain camps are at each other’s throats over the protracted Brexit process. Notably, anti-Brexiteers have claimed that the issue of Brexit has fueled an increase in racism in the UK.
If Brexit was a cruise, it would be a Saga travel company cruise. Local cruises for local people. Saga saying they didn’t do the brochure. It’s their brochure, but they didn’t do it. It’s totally Brexity. The state of you Britain, the absolute fucking state of you. https://t.co/lysy6UzOGx
— Seriously fed up (@anitatheowl) September 19, 2019
No need to apologise Saga. There is nothing wrong with the brochure. Yet more snowflake leftard outrage which the majority of the country don’t even bat an eyelash at! There’s always something that offends these loons. Take heart that most of us remain sane!
— Penelope Stevens (@BrexitPenny) September 19, 2019
The UN also says that Britain had been experiencing a spike in hate crimes since the EU referendum in 2016 and that anti-migrant and anti-foreigner rhetoric have become “normalized” even among high-ranking civil servants. The UN’s special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia, Tendayi Achiume, warned in May 2018 that she found a growth in “xenophobic discourses on migration, and on foreign nationals including refugees in social and print media.”
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