NewWitch Magazine Issues Press Release Concerning Discriminatory Polices of Retail Chain "Hot Topic"

August 21, 2003

Source: new Witch Magazine

On August 21, 2003 newWitch Magazine issued a press release stating that "in an email sent July 15, 2003, to newWitch Editor-In-Chief Anne Newkirk Niven, California-based apparel and accessory retail chain Hot Topic ( admitted a company policy of religious discrimination in merchandise selection for their stores. According to Papergoods Buyer Marissa Mitchell, '[newWitch] sounds great, and potentially would have been a good fit for our stores a few years back when we used to carry Wicca merchandise. Unfortunately, about 4 years ago we ran into some complicated issues and as a company, we had to make some difficult decisions. One of those decisions included not going forward with merchandise that reads the word 'witch' on it.' In a phone conversation with Niven, Ms. Mitchell admitted that some of these 'complicated issues' involved pressure from the Religious Right to Hot Topic's management to ban all Wicca and witch-related merchandise from its stores -- despite the fact that there is a considerable demographic overlap between Hot Topic's customer base (goth and other alternative lifestyles) and Paganism."