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JC Penney 'Hitler Billboard' in Culver City Sparks Controversy

JC Penney 'Hitler Billboard' in Culver City Sparks Controversy

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Updated at the bottom with the billboard taken down. First posted at 12:27 p.m.

It's been a bad year so far for JC Penney. It had a CEO, Ron Johnson, who worked as a top executive at ultra-cool Apple, Inc. But he didn't get this kind of retail and proceeded to alienate the chain's customers by eliminating sales and downsizing the number of brands the stores carried.

Then came an apology commercial (and Johnson's ouster). Now comes Hitler:

Yeah, social media is abuzz with images of JCP's "Hitler billboard," actually an advertisement for a teapot that sorta looks like Hitler from afar.

The billboard is along the 405 in Culver City, apparently. While some have expressed genuine shock over the media, most are just poking fun at JC Penney and its string of fumbles in the popular realm.

This Reddit forum seems to have sparked the snickering. We reached out to the company for its response but had yet to hear back.

But JC Penney did tweet that the likeness was "definitely unintended:"

If we had designed the kettle to look like something, we would have gone with a snowman :).

The store also says the teapot is sold out online.

[Update at 11:49 p.m.]: The billboard has come down, apparently without a comment from JC Penney. That, at least, was according to ABC Eyewitness News tonight.

So long, Der Führer, you hothead. We hardly got a chance to know you.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.