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Amazon pulls Nazi ads over New York backlash
[NEW YORK] It's the land of the free and Americans don't like Nazi insignia laid over the stars and stripes. Nor do they want to sit on it.
A furious backlash has prompted Amazon to pull ads for a television show that featured the Nazi German eagle and Imperial Japan's rising sun on the New York subway.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) allowed the company to colour seats on the Times Square shuttle with the symbols laid over the US flag to promote The Man in the High Castle. The show, which premiered last month, is set in the 1960s as if America had lost World War II - occupied by Nazi Germany in the east and the Empire of Japan in the west.
Based on the novel by Philip K Dick, it portrays an America in which slavery is legal and Jews hide under assumed names.
An official told AFP that the ads - which had been originally scheduled to run until next month - were being pulled.
Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mayor Bill de Blasio led calls for the ads to be removed, saying they were offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, as well as to countless others.
New York is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the world, and after Tel Aviv is home to the world's second-largest Jewish population by city.
"Seeing the American flag paired with a Nazi symbol is viscerally offensive, because there is no context as to what it means," said the Anti-Defamation League. "We're not saying that people don't have a right to express themselves. We're just saying that it has a level of insensitivity."
New York state assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who is Jewish, slammed what he called "vulgar and offensive advertising". "The MTA could have allowed this show to be advertised without using such offensive insignias. As a Jew I am offended, and as a New Yorker I am embarrassed," he said.
Mr Dinowitz demanded that the ads be pulled immediately and that the MTA issue a public apology.
"The MTA should be ashamed of themselves and this ignorant advertising campaign, as it is offensive not just to the Jewish community, but to all Americans," he said.