A beauty chain in Malaysia is under fire after it released an advertisement depicting a woman in blackface.
Watsons Malaysia’s ad features a black woman who has a beautiful voice but is cursed with a dark complexion. In fact, it seems the beauty company had smeared black soot on the model’s face to make her look outrageously dark. According to the beauty chain, the ad was about Malaysian folklore story known as “Dayang Senandong.”
The scene can be seen at approximately nine minutes into the video below.
The ad shows a wealthy man who is on a hunt in the “legendary Cun Raya 2017” contest for the enchanting female voice that he fell for. As the woman had a beautiful voice, the merchant assumes that she also has a beautiful face. As a result he summons all the “beautiful women” of the area in the quest to find his mystery woman.
After listening to several women, he fails to find the voice he fell for. However, to his surprise he suddenly hears a voice which is exactly the same as the woman he had heard and was now looking for. The merchant then goes near her to unveil her face but is taken aback after seeing her face.
“Where are the lights? She is actually dark,” he utters in disbelief.
The rest of the women present there also start whispering in disbelief and look at the woman in an insulting way.
Disappointed by the attitude, the woman covers her face and walks away.
However, when the winner of the contest is announced, to everyone’s surprise, the woman in blackface wins. This time when she lifts her veil, her skin is white.
“I am not dark; in fact I am flawless,” she says.
The merchant then immediately pops her the question.
The racist ad sparked an outrage on Twitter.
first of all, dont try and defend watsons blatantly offensive ad by saying that we dont have to apply political correctness in malaysia— vee ? (@vaishnavi_mr) June 11, 2017
Yooo this pharmacy in Malaysia called Watsons just made the most racist ad. I was honestly so shocked.— ??????? (@TheIbby_) June 10, 2017
If you STILL don't think #Watsons ad is racist: go ask an Indian friend abt racism in Malaysia (assuming you have one)— Yu Ren Chung (@renchung) June 10, 2017
Following the outrage, Watsons issued an apology saying that it was not their intention to offend anybody. The company also withdrew the ad immediately after it went viral.
“We stand firm on the belief that unity and fairness plays an important role, and we respect people from all nationalities. The video was shot to highlight the legend and its moral values of inner beauty and that true love exists,” read the statement.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters