Dove is issuing apologies to women everywhere after a distasteful ad didn’t bode so well with the internet.
The ad, which was quickly taken down from Dove’s Facebook page over the weekend, includes a three second GIF of a black woman stripping off her shirt to reveal a white woman underneath. It’s an ad packed with all sorts of outdated tropes of racism. Backlash over this video has driven Dove to send out a series of apologies. Still, online critics aren’t buying it.
Dove’s original ad features a black woman taking off her clothes to reveal a white woman.
— Chasity ??? (@chasityscooper) October 7, 2017
The ad features a GIF that features three woman slipping out of their shirts to reveal another on loop. The sequences skips from a black woman to a white woman, to a brown one. But, by the time the last woman appears, viewers are already hit with an offensive first impression. Most people found that the ad reminded them of commercials that touted the notion that people of color had dirty skin that needed to be washed. What’s more, its first transition image seems to imply that women of color, particularly black women, are inferior to white women or should free themselves of their darker complexion.
Some on Twitter are pointing out how the commercial mirrors old school soap advertisements.
the racist dove ad is a continuation of a long history of racist soap advertising pic.twitter.com/nO7iDT7dxH
— /kaw·reɪdʒ/ (@kawrage) October 8, 2017
You know, the ones. We’re talking about ads issued by N. K. Fairbank Company that suggested black children were dirty. And we’re talking about even more recent ones. Like the one that came out of Nivea’s just this year for their “White Is Purity” campaign. No, seriously. Nivea did a white is purity campaign. This latest ad by Dove so unforgivable we have no idea if we should laugh or cry. Do we laugh because someone was idiotic enough to think of it? Or, do we cry because people can’t seem to learn from the past? Do they even have an emoji for this feeling??
Either way everyone seems to just want answers.
WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! HOW DID THIS LEAVE THE WHITEBOARD?!?! pic.twitter.com/3JaPKoMOPZ
— ✨Odion ?? (@bodaciousbobo) October 8, 2017
Twitter seems to be in a state of shock over it. The consensus is a desire for an answer on how this ad possibly made its way through the final stages of ad review. Some are even wondering if Dove even actually conducts a final ad review.
Dove’s response? Read below:
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
On Saturday, Dove issued apologies on Facebook and Twitter writing: “Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused.”
Even celebs are putting in their two cents and wanting to know what the H happened.
I really would like to know who exactly had a seat at the table making this decision. https://t.co/rPRxB61Exl
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) October 8, 2017
As of this morning, Dove’s Twitter apology has amassed over 3,000 replies. In short, users still want to know how Dove could make such a mistake. Especially when considering the fact that Dove brags about its understanding that “Beauty is not defined by shape, size or color” as stated right on its homepage.
If there’s one thing we hope Dove takes away from this, it’s that they’re on notice for a diversity review.
Credit: Glee / Fox
Seriously, this is the type of mistake that occurs when a company falls short on both range and inclusivity. Whether Dove wants to make room for higher-ups of color or scratch and restart again is up to them. But one thing is for sure: whatever they choose they’ll have to hit the ground running because clearly the internet will not be standing for another similar awkward moment.