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Owner of Detergent Company in Racist Commercial Sidesteps Controversy: ‘I Didn’t Really Pay Much Attention’



After a Chinese laundry detergent commercial depicting an Asian woman throwing a Black man into the washer and emerging as a Chinese man made the rounds, the internet was outraged. Users on Chinese social media website Weibo expressed their surprise.

One commenter said, “my god. Don’t Chinese marketing people get any education about race?”

Another responded to others who tried to defend the ad by saying, “If you don’t understand why it’s racist, congratulations, you’re a racist.”

Twitter also reacted with shock to the advert.

BBC reports the spot had been running in Chinese movie theaters and TV for a month.

When Mr. Xia, the owner of Qiaobi detergent spoke on it, he said he was unaware of the racist commercial.

“I don’t know much about the advertisement,” Xia told BBC. “To be honest, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the advertisement.”

The commercial is not original. CNN reports it was inspired by TV spot from Italy for another laundry brand. In it, an Italian man is washed in color detergent and a Black man appears with the tagline, “color is better.”

Racist advertisements are the norm. They may not always be as overtly racist as this one, but they usually employ a racist stereotype about black people, whether it’s their supposed dirtiness or love of fried chicken.

Atlanta Black Star reports in 2010, KFC in Australia aired an ad where a white man feeling awkward surrounded by cheering Black cricket fans pulls out a bucket of fried chicken to share with them.

Three years later, Pepsi was in hot water for a Mountain Dew ad with a white woman assaulted by a goat. She is asked to pick out who committed the crime in a police line-up of the goat and five Black men. Perhaps worst of all, the piece was created by rapper Tyler The Creator who defended the advert.

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