Bad Business: Amazon Under Fire For Selling Racist ‘Golly’Costume


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

“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

“‘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.


Back to top