‘Racist’ laundry detergent ad in China sparks outrage on social media

Deutsche Welle — May 27, 2016

The advertisement for Qiaobi washing powder circulating various online platforms on Friday shows a black man whistling at a young Chinese woman.

Acting as if she’s about to kiss him, she puts a detergent capsule in his mouth instead, shoves him into her washing machine, and sits on the lid while the machine gets to work. When he re-emerges, he’s no longer black, but a “clean” Chinese man.

An Eritrean activist group posted the video on its Twitter page.

The commercial provoked outrage globally, especially among journalists on social media. “The ad is blatantly racist…it’s also a reminder that attitudes over race and skin color in China can be very bad,” Vox.com said.

Buzzfeed editor Tom Gara tweeted this message:

Few responses in China

The commercial, reportedly shown at Chinese cinemas earlier in May, is a spin-off from an Italian advertisement, which shows a white man being forced into a washing machine and a black man emerging out of it, followed by the slogan, “Colored is better.”

However, the Qiaobi commercial appears to have drawn little attention in its home country, China, where it recorded less than 2,000 view on the video-sharing website Youku.

mg/kms (AFP)