A rather disturbing Chinese detergent commercial which depicts a black man who emerged as a fair-skinned Asian man after being stuffed into a washing machine has sparked off a lot of criticism worldwide.
The controversial commercial for the ‘Qiaobi’ brand portrays a black young man whose clothes and body were smeared with paint, whistling while trying to make a pass at a young Chinese woman. The Chinese lady then calls him over, stuffs a detergent packet into his mouth, and practically threw him headfirst into a washing machine in a bid to cleanse him.
She sits on the lid of the washing machine to hold off the struggling effect of the black man inside. Minutes later as she opens the lid, a young Asian man emerges in clean clothes to the satisfaction of the woman.
Several US news websites condemned the Chinese detergent commercial as they cited it as an example of racist attitudes towards black people in China.
“This ad is blatantly racist… it’s also a reminder that attitudes over race and skin colour in China can be very bad,” said Vox.com.
However, with few comments on social media, and fewer than 2,000 views on popular video-sharing site Youku, the advert did not raise much dust in its home country.
Though the country has grown in population over the recent years, China has historically experienced almost no migration by people of African descent.
Meanwhile, there was no comment from the Shanghai Leishang cosmetics company, which produces the gel-capsule product.
The detergent commercial was reportedly shown in the cinemas earlier this month. A similar soundtrack and plot that was used in a previous Italian commercial showing a white man forced into a washing machine and transformed into a black man with the slogan-“Coloured is better.”