Outrage is everywhere these days. It seems some people are going out of their way to find things to be outraged about, even if it’s nothing. In the midst of all of this, it’s easy to miss the stuff that probably is a little tone deaf.
Take Dove’s recent ad, for example.
Soap company Dove has apologized for a racially insensitive Facebook ad it said “missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully.”
The advertisement, apparently for some sort of soap but which has since been deleted, showed a black woman wearing a brown shirt removing her top to reveal a white woman in a lighter top. A third image shows the white woman removing her shirt to show a woman of apparently Asian descent.
On Saturday, Dove, which is owned by Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company Unilever, issued an apology on its Twitter page for the advertisement.
By Sunday morning, Dove’s Facebook and Twitter pages were filled with a litany of backlash from consumers.
“This is gross. You think people of color can just wash away their melanin and become white? What were you going for, exactly? Your creative director should be fired,” one Angela Reinders wrote on Facebook.
Mary Braden, of Baltimore, Maryland, wrote, “That’s not missing the mark, that’s ensuring that I will never buy another Dove product and I will encourage every one I know to join me.”
As someone who routinely slaps around people for their idiotic outrage, I can’t do it this time. I just can’t.
The idea of a soap making black women white, which is an easy-to-understand takeaway from this commercial? Yeah, not cool. Not cool at all. Someone at the ad company and someone at Dove need to get their heads examined. Probably several someones.
Racial tension is sky-high right now, and what do we get? An ad from Dove that appears to say, “You can be white too!”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think anyone at Dove is being racist with this ad. It’s obvious there’s no intent to anger anyone, since the white woman also becomes Asian. They’re probably trying to make a point about how we’re all the same or something, but dude…start with a black woman and have her become white? You’re almost asking to be picketed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be just as annoyed if it had pulled a Dolezal and had the white woman become black, though I suspect that wouldn’t have created such an outrage.
Still, Dove screwed the pooch on this one.