The giant american hygiene products and household Colgate-Palmolive will “review“its toothpaste Darlie sold in Asia and whose name means “toothpaste for a black person“in chinese, in the wake of other groups doing their introspection about the racist clichés that their products convey. “Darlie is a chinese brand owned by Colgate and our partner, Hawley & Hazel“said Colgate on Friday in a statement sent to AFP.
“For more than 35 years, we have worked together to evolve the brand, especially with major changes to the name, logo and packaging“added the group. “We are currently working with our partner to review and develop further all aspects of the brand, including its name“, concluded the press release.
Marketed in China, Taiwan, Thailand and other asian countries, the brand was called up in 1989, Darkie, an insult racial against African Americans, before being changed to Darlie.
His previous logo was a white man in blackface in black, wearing a top hat, monocle and bow tie, an imaging traditionally associated with the “minstrel shows“. In these shows, born in the early 19th century in the United States, Whites have blackened the face to mock Black people.
The current symbol of the brand is always that of a man fully dressed, but his appearance is supposed to be less ambiguous than before. The toothpaste is manufactured by Hawley & Hazel, whose current headquarters is in hong Kong and whose Colgate became the owner of 50% in the mid-1980s.
Several u.s. companies have recently announced that they were going to make it disappear or change their visual identity that perpetuates racial stereotypes: it is in particular the case of Quaker Oats (subsidiary of PepsiCo) will soon get rid of Aunt Jemima and Mars, which was said to be considering to change his famous Uncle Ben s.
These decisions have been announced in full wave of protests against police violence and racism in the United States, which began after the death at the end of may in Minneapolis to George Floyd, a black man arrested and killed by a white policeman.