Online retailer Amazon has come under fire the last few days from the Black community for an overtly racist costume that was available on its website. Users came across a “golliwog” costume available for sale which is shown over a Black face doll reminiscent of a minstrel show.
As reported by telegraph.co.uk:
“Amazon has been urged to withdraw an ‘offensive and demeaning’ fancy dress costume of a golly. The outfit, based upon the racist character, is advertised on the online retail giant’s website as an Adult Golly Fancy Dress Costume priced at £39.99, reduced from £47.99.
Helen Pattison, of Britain’s Youth Against Racism, told the Sun: ‘Yet again Amazon has shown they will sell highly offensive and demeaning products, as long as they can make a profit.'”
After facing public pressure Amazon has since removed the costume from its website, which was being sold by a third party seller named Orion Costumes. Both companies seem to grossly underestimate the implications of a Black faced doll dressed in minstrel clothes and the offensiveness of the term “golliwog.”
According to leftfootforward.org:
“‘Golly’ dolls were created based on crude stereotypes of Black people, and the term ‘Golliwog’ was often shouted at Black people as a term of racial abuse. In Enid Blyton’s book, Here Comes Noddy Again, a Golly character asks the hero for help but ends up stealing his car. An excerpt from her book, The Three Golliwogs, is fairly typical:
‘Once the three bold Golliwogs, Golly, Woggie, and N**ger, decided to go for a walk to Bumble-Bee Common. Golly wasn’t quite ready so Woggie and N**ger said they would start off without him, and Golly would catch them up as soon as he could. So off went Woggie and N**ger, arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favorite song – which, as you may guess, was Ten Little N**ger Boys.’”
Both Amazon and Orion Costumes should have known better and hopefully this can serve as a lesson in the future for all companies and people to have a bit more of racial sensitivity.