Tuesday 23 January 2018

Chinese detergent company apologises for 'racist' ad but says foreign media is 'too sensitive'

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The laundry detergent company responsible for a racist advert in which a black man is 'washed' to become an Asian man has apologised.

Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics Ltd, who made the ad for Qiaobi laundry detergent, have pulled the ad but blamed the media for 'over-amplifying' the ad.

“We express regret that the ad should have caused a controversy, but we will not shun responsibility for controversial content,” they said in a statement.

“We express our apology for harm caused to the African people because of the spread of the ad and the over-amplification by the media,” the statement read. “We sincerely hope the public and the media will not over-read it.”

In the ad, a black man arrives into the kitchen with paint splashes on his face and he wolf-whistles at a woman who is filling her washing machine.

They kiss and then she pushes a laundry detergent tablet into his mouth and tosses him into the machine where he can be heard shouting in pain as she sits on top and smiles.

When he emerges his t-shirt is perfectly white and he has changed from black to Chinese, which is clearly very pleasing to the woman.

The ad went viral, with many dubbing it the "most racist" ad ever.

However, on Friday, Mr Wang, a representative for the company, told The Global Times that the foreign media was being "too sensitive" about the ad and added that the company "had never thought about the issue of racism" during production.

He also said that only a snippet of the ad was used, and did not feature the black man.

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