An advertisement for a Chinese detergent brand is going viral — but not for any good reason.
Qiaobi detergent released the ad, showing an Asian woman doing laundry when a black man, covered in paint, appears at the door and winks. He approaches the woman but when he gets close, the Asian woman shoves his entire body into the washer.
Moments later, when the wash cycle is finished, an Asian man pops out of the machine.
It has also been viewed more than two million times on YouTube.
As the Huffington Post pointed out, the ad is the same concept as another ad put out by an Italian detergent brand. In the Italian ad, however, an Italian man is shoved in the washer and replaced with a black man. Both the Chinese ad and the Italian ad even use the same music.
It’s not clear when exactly the Italian ad was released, but the 40-second spot was uploaded to one YouTube channel in June 2007.
The Italian ad was part of a series of television spots. Their themes? “Colored is better?”
But the Chinese ad doesn’t seem to convey that message.
“Thanks to traditional beauty standards valuing white skin, many Chinese people have a well-established phobia of dark skin which unfortunately also breeds racist attitudes towards people of African descent, who are viewed by some as ‘dirty’ simply because of their skin tone,” the Shanghaiist opined.
The ad also garnered criticism online. Users took to the Chinese social media platform Welbo to sound off.
“My god. Don’t Chinese marketing people get any education about race?” one user wrote, according to CNN.
Another person, while replying to someone trying to defend the ad, stated, “If you don’t understand why it’s racist, congratulations, you’re a racist.”
Qiaobi didn’t appear to have responded to the criticism as of Friday afternoon.
We’ll be sure to let you know if and when Qiaobi does issue a statement.
(H/T: Huffington Post)
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