Ounce Water, founded by “Sons of Anarchy” star Theo Rossi and his wife Meghan McDermott in 2015, has prompted backlash from a Brooklyn, N.Y., community over its packaging.
Brooklyn residents, along with Breukelen Rise, an activist group that serves at-risk youth and their families, took issue with the 40 Ounce Water package — which is designed to look like a bottle of malt liquor.
The group feels the shape of the bottle perpetuates negative stereotypes about black communities, as well as has the potential to promote alcoholism among children.
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“That history is of high alcohol content, cheap liquors that were sold and heavily promoted through rap music and all kinds of marketing and entertainment,” community member Christine Gilliam told Yahoo Lifestyle. “It is a big part of the demise of a community that already feels it’s under attack. So that, in turn, leads to alcoholism.”
“We know that children emulate adults and what they see to be cool,” Gilliam said. “So you have them going to the store, which just happens to be next to a liquor store where you might see people hanging out drinking 40s, so you want to emulate that and you can do it with a 40 water. Great, they’re getting nourished as far as the water. But their behavior is emulating that of these people that are consuming alcohol. And it’s like a precursor.”
Ounce Water did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but according to the website, the bottle was designed to help people consume 80 ounces of water per day by creating labeled water bottles.