Yet again, two companies have “missed the mark” on their product campaigns and released products that are symbols of racism and hatred. Surprised? Unfortunately, most customers are not as this kind of occurrence is still commonplace in this day and age.
This month Gucci released a sweater that resembled blackface. The sweater is black and pulls upwards to the mouth and nose with large red lips contrasting against the somber black. Criticism was almost instantaneous and this “mistake” led to a great deal of backlash against the company. What was the intention behind this product? What could make this excusable? Consumers are left wondering this questions.
Gucci released the following apology; however, consumers question whether this is genuine and begin to question the previous philanthropic and equality oriented actions that Gucci has taken in the past.
Another incident that recently came to light is Katy Perry’s shoe collection that is imprinted with an image that resembles blackface. Her shoes have been in stores since 2017 but have just recently been brought to the attention of the media. These products are inexcusable and clearly show that there is a lack of cultural awareness and understanding as well as blatant insensitivity. What should be done in response to this? A statement of apology is simply not enough. Companies must show that they are taking countermeasures and initiatives to be more knowledgeable and aware of other cultures and communities. This is a fundamental issue that these companies must focus on, especially in light of recent events.