Sunday, December 16, 2018

Luxury brand Prada in racism controversy over $750 toy monkey

Another week, another luxury brand in hot water over an alleged racism controversy.

This time it's luxury fashion brand Prada, which says it will stop selling a $US550 ($766) monkey figurine after it was likened to racist caricatures historically used to dehumanise black people.

The monkeys were part of Prada's new "Pradamalia" line of small items such as key rings and toys featuring cartoon creatures. The black and brown versions have oversized red lips, a traditional hallmark of "blackface".

Suffice to say, the reaction to the range was swift, and negative. Quasi online fashion police Diet Prada, which partly takes its name from the brand, questioned why such controversies keep happening at luxury brands.

"Many are comparing 'Otto', a resulting mutation of one of Prada's oldest mascots, the monkey, to Little Sambo, a children's book character from 1899, who exemplified the pickaninny style of blackface caricature," wrote Diet Prada's Lindsey Schuyler and Tony Liu.

The company issued a statement apologising for the figures and saying they would be removed from sale.

"They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface," the company said. "Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest, we will withdraw all of the characters in question from display and circulation."



Anonymous said...

Political Correctness strikes again.

Bird of Paradise said...

Please please please we some Common Sense around here and quickly

Anonymous said...

The real racism is in the eye of the people who think this monkey figure has any connection with negro people.
Next they will boycott Paul Frank.