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New Dunkin’ Donuts Ad Is Creepy And Racist

Dunkin Donuts Ads Spark Controversy Over Racist Claims

A new Dunkin’ Donuts ad campaign is being accused of being racist by a human rights group. They say the ads pushing the new “charcoal donut” is both “bizarre and racist.” The ads are currently on display in Thailand in cities like Bangkok and feature a woman in blackface.

Why are some finding the new Dunkin Donuts ad to be so offensive? The poster-size ads feature a woman with bright pink lips, the rest of her skin covered in dark black makeup while holding the new charcoal donut. The blackfaced woman is also shown in TV ads, sporting a hairstyle from the 1950s and a slogan telling viewers to “break every rule of deliciousness.”

The question, then, is maybe not whether or not the ads are racist, but how did such the strange Dunkin’ Donuts ad get approval for public use? According to NBC News, Thailand’s Dunkin’ Donuts branch operates independently from their US counterpart. Apparently initial claims of racism were dismissed by the head of Thai operations, Nadim Salhani, as “paranoid American thinking.”

The LA Times says Salhani believes these claims of racism to be “absolutely ridiculous.” He said, “We’re not allowed to use black to promote our doughnuts? I don’t get it. What’s the big fuss?” Apparently the ad campaign features Salhani’s daughter, the actress covered in black makeup.

Apparently Human Rights Watch does not agree with Salhani. In a public statement, the international rights group said that they were puzzled by the release of advertisements which would be met with outrage in the US. However, after mounting pressure to remove the offensive advertisements, Dunkin’ Donuts’ US branch officially apologized to the public. They say they are doing everything they can to get their Thai branch to get rid of the racist ads.

Thailand has become known in recent times for use of rather blatantly racist advertisements, ranging from Hitler-branded shirts to a cleaning product brand known as “Black Man.”

What do you think? Are these clearly racist ads meant to be malicious? Or are these recent Dunkin’ Donut ads the result of careless, but not forgivable, racism — possibly even a strange cultural misunderstanding?

[Featured image via Northfoto / Shutterstock.com]

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Comments

13 Responses to “New Dunkin’ Donuts Ad Is Creepy And Racist”

  1. Susan Lango Frank

    so what now? anything black is off limits because it can be considered racist? when will this insanity stop?

  2. Marina Schlesinger

    While once considered acceptable by the dominant white American culture, the practice of blackface as a caricature of a person is currently strongly considered politically incorrect and racist.

  3. Carol Snyder

    I think we have too many stupid people in the US who see racism in everything. The ad is about chocolate donuts not black people. Get a life people and stop crying racist for everything.

  4. Carol Snyder

    Marina Schlesinger the black face you're talking about was a white person with just the front part of their face covered in black paint how do you possibly equate that to the ad. , not the same thing. the ad is talking about chocolate donuts. people need to stop seeing racism in everything

  5. Darlene Lindholm

    Right up there with being sick to death with everything being considered racist is the term "politically correct." Jeez, people…

  6. Shelby Lacue

    Will this super sensitivity ever end…does everyone have to always worry if they are being politically correct… a donut with pink lips…wow…that's stretching a bit…

  7. Susan Lango Frank

    Marina Schlesinger i know that. but this ad has nothing to do with that….it is about chocolate donuts.

  8. Marina Schlesinger

    The first paragraph on the linked article says that the ad campaign features a woman in blackface, which IS offensive. This is not about a donut

  9. Susan Lango Frank

    Marina Schlesinger i am trying to understand….so it is just the phrase "woman in blackface" i.e. "in blackface" that is offensive & pic?