Last Friday (August 30), global doughnut and coffee company Dunkin’ Donuts found itself under heavy criticism after a model in blackface was featured in an advertising campaign. A human rights group deemed the ad racist and raised a stir, thus prompting the company to pull and apologize for the advertisement.
The Los Angeles Times spoke with Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of the Human Rights Watch organization, who blasted the company and Southeast Asia’s propensity to run racist ads.
From the Times:
Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said it’s “rather incredible that an international company like Dunkin’ Donuts” would run such an ad.
In a phone interview with The Times, he said the ad “fits into a long history of racist advertisements in Southeast Asia.
The ad, which worked to promote the “charcoal doughnut,” featured the blackface model wearing bright pink lipstick and appearing to have bitten the chocolate pastry. Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands, issued a statement and said the company has pulled the ad from public view.
Dunkin’ Donuts recognizes the insensitivity of this spot,” Raskopf said. “On behalf of our Thailand franchisee and our company, we apologize for any offense it caused.”
Raskopf’s apology didn’t fall in line with Dunkin Donuts’ Thailand CEO Nadim Salhani’s thoughts, however.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Salhani said to the AP. “We’re not allowed to use black to promote our doughnuts? I don’t get it. What’s the big fuss? What if the product was white and I painted someone white, would that be racist?”
Yeah, he definitely didn’t get it.
Hit the next page to see the ad in full.
Photo: Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand