Is this Clorox tweet racist? Many Twitter users were upset when new bleach emojis suggested that darker-skinned diversity emojis could use some white cleanup, but the company insists they didn’t mean to offend.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Cosmopolitan addressed issues of racism on Twitter with a “note.” Although some say it is racist to claim that Idris Elba can’t play James Bond since he’s black, one former Bond villain who happens to be a black actor himself claims this idea is nonsense.
So, why are people calling this Clorox tweet racist? The whole story started when the company tweeted out the above image along with a message.
“New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach,” Clorox tweeted.
In response, many called Clorox racist since it was assumed the cleaning product company was referring to having bleach turn the racially diverse emoji white.
@Clorox you guys couldn’t possibly think that tweet would be a good idea.
— electric areola (@QueenTalibah) April 8, 2015
@Clorox I was hoping that was a fake tweet… apparently I’m too optimistic
— EarthenTwerkGoddess (@IAmMichelae) April 8, 2015
Critics claim Clorox was referring to the controversy over the emoji keyboard for the Apple iPhone, which previously had a very limited selection in regards to skin tone. Apple responded to this controversy by releasing an iPhone update that introduced a new range of skin tones and different family combinations, including families with homosexual parents.
“You need to clean up your PR person. Put some bleach on your distasteful marketing ideas,” tweeted @DriNicole. “Black emojis were added today. Saying this implies you’d rather the emojis be only white, by adding bleach.”
The uproar over Clorox’s racist tweet led to a public image cleanup effort, with the company attempting to add an apparent clarification: “Wish we could bleach away our last tweet. Didn’t mean to offend – it was meant to be about all the emojis that could use a cleanup.”
But those who thought the Clorox tweet racist would not allow the company to clean up the mess so easily. They were offended and claimed the clarification was simply a non-apology, so eventually the company took down the original tweet from their account.
According to CNN, a Clorox spokesperson also explained what they had originally intended by the Clorox emoji tweet.
“We apologize to the many people who thought our tweet about the new emojis was insensitive. It was never our intention to offend. We did not mean for this to be taken as a specific reference to the diversity emojis — but we should have been more aware of the news around this. The tweet was meant to be light-hearted but it fell flat.”
What do you think? Was the Clorox tweet racist or simply a misunderstanding?