A new television commercial has been called “jaw-droppingly racist” for advertising laundry detergent seemingly strong enough to turn a black man Asian.
The ad — from China-based laundry detergent company Qiaobi — shows a black man flirting with a seemingly interested Asian woman. The women lures the man closer to a washing machine. She shoves a ball of washing detergent in his mouth before shoving his body into the washing machine. Moments later, the black man emerges from the water as an Asian man.
The Chinese company was blasted online by American media, who branded the Qiaobi commercial racist.
“Qiaobi Detergent Ad Might Be The Most Racist TV Commercial Ever Made,” an editor for the Huffington Post described the controversial ad.
“This Chinese laundry detergent commercial is jaw-droppingly racist,” wrote Vox.com’s German Lopez.
Shanghaiist, a English-language blog covering all-things China, says negative attitudes toward dark-skinned people is a cultural norm in China that warrants such unseemly advertisements:
Thanks to traditional beauty standards valuing white skin, many Chinese people have a well-established phobia of dark skin which unfortunately also breeds racist attitudes towards people of African descent, who are viewed by some as “dirty” simply because of their skin tone.
Last December, a Chinese promotional poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was blasted on social media after it was discovered that black male lead John Boyega, who plays the character Finn, was completely cut out of the Chinese ad.
china’s star wars poster shrunk john boyega because he’s black, absolutely disgusting behaviour. pic.twitter.com/3vARSxtXLI
— bruschetta dortmund (@meridiansour) December 4, 2015
Oddly enough, the Qiaobi detergent ad is apparently a ripoff of an Italian detergent brand called Coloreria. The Italian ad, which features the exact same music as the Qiaobi commercial, shows a woman washing an Italian man who is pulled of a washing machine as a black man.
“Coloured is better,” reads the tagline in the Coloreria commercial.