Dunkin' Donuts has apologised for the "insensitivity" of an advertising campaign in Thailand featuring a woman in blackface makeup to promote a new chocolate flavoured doughnut.
The Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Thailand came under criticism after Human Rights Watch called the advertisements "bizarre and racist."
The company's chief executive in Thailand initially defended the campaign, but the U.S. headquarters quickly followed up with an apology.
"We are working with our Thailand franchisee to immediately pull the ad. DD recognizes the insensitivity of this spot," Dunkin' Donuts said in a tweet posted on its official U.S. website after complaints erupted on Twitter and social media.
The local franchise launched the advertisement earlier this month to promote its new "Charcoal Donut." In posters, TV commercials and on Facebook, the campaign shows a smiling woman with blackface makeup, bright pink lipstick and a jet black 1950s-style beehive hairdo holding up a bitten black doughnut. The slogan in Thai reads: "Break every rule of deliciousness."
Critics say the image is reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols of a racist era.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said it was shocked to see an American brand name running an advertising campaign that would draw "howls of outrage" if released in the United States.
"It's both bizarre and racist that Dunkin' Donuts thinks that it must color a woman's skin black and accentuate her lips with bright pink lipstick to sell a chocolate doughnut," said Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. "Dunkin' Donuts should immediately withdraw this ad, publicly apologize to those it's offended and ensure this never happens again."
Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
You don't find caricatured, stereotypical, demeaning representations of people as a race of buffoons offensive
Originally posted by RamblinCheese666
I want to apologize for my cowardice earlier. Yes, people probably took it too far. But I digest racism and feel we need to stop it. Which is why I was angry about the topic.