Late last week, an insanely racist television ad that first aired in China started making the rounds here in the states. The commercial was telecast as far back as March, but it took awhile for people in other countries to notice it. In it, an Asian woman is doing the laundry when a black man emerges from another room covered in paint. He's clearly doing a crazy terrible paint job, but that's not the racist part. The woman beckons him over as though for a kiss, and then SURPRISE, she throws him in the washing machine. First of all, never put a person inside a washing machine or dryer. Don't put any living creatures into anything that fills with water and spins around.
Anyway, the racist part is that he emerges sparkling clean, with paint removed as well as his skin color. He has magically become an Asian man via the power of detergent. Watch with mouth agape in horror:
What's even crazier is that this is not an original idea at all. A very similar commercial aired in Italy. It was posted to YouTube as far back as 2009, and is almost exactly the same even up to the music. The ending has a bit of a twist:
Also very, very racist, but I guess in Italy they see being with a black man as a sexy upgrade. Fetishizing people for the sake of soap is still pretty messed up.
After the Chinese ad went viral, the company that manufactures the detergent, Qiaobi, apologized, saying they don't support racial discrimination and they regretted the controversy. According to the BBC, the advertising firm who created the commercial stated that "its critics overseas were too sensitive." Yes, it's everyone else who had the problem, why didn't we think of that?
Now Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics Ltd Co has released a statement saying, "We express our apology for the harm caused to the African people because of the spread of the ad and the over-amplification by the media... We sincerely hope the public and the media will not over-read it."
That's really a "sorry-not-sorry" apology, but at least they'll think twice before creating another rip-off commercial that eradicates someone's race to sell household products.