Another brand has used racially-insensitive language to promote their product, and people are seriously tired. An Italian cosmetics brand provoked uproar over the name of one of its nail polishes.
Wycon thought it appropriate to name a black nail polish 'Thick As A N*gga', and people were not happy with it. The latest in an epidemic of brands using racist language and imagery to provoke a reaction after Dove last year and H&M recently, it's becoming increasingly clear to some people that this may be a marketing tactic.
Outrage creates clicks, spreads awareness, and could result in more sales. A relatively little known brand from Italy saw its opportunity, and took it. The brand's series of non-apologies did little to remedy the situation.
The brand claimed its names were 'a bit crazy' and released a statement claiming that it named its products after hip hop and R&B songs, which is problematic in itself. With no known connection to the culture, and using racially sensitive language, it seems unlikely that the brand was attempting to make a genuine connection to a diverse customer base.
According to Forbes, the company said: “We’re sorry that this post has triggered these types of reactions: every color from our Gel On collection is inspired, with a cheerful attitude and a pinch of naivety, by famous song titles, many of which derive from the landscape of hip hop.
"For example 'Drop it like it’s hot' by Snoop Dogg, 'Bootilicious' (sic) by Beyoncé, 'Candy Shop' by 50 Cent, Lollipop, Lady Marmalade etc…The reference here is 'Thick N***a' (sic) by DBangz. Wycon is the brand for everybody #nobodyexcluded is our motto and we didn’t mean to offend anybody!”
Leaving aside the problematic nature of an Italian brand with no discernible connection to the culture channelling African American music to name their products, the brand used a common defense when called out in its racism.
Feigning ignorance is not an excuse, but one brands seem to use all too often. H&M hired a diversity leader after the hoodie backlash, but the damage had already been done.
We have a list of great black-owned beauty brands that you should know and support. In a world where racist imagery is used to create publicity, and brand's diversity drives are only skin deep, maybe it's about time to show some love for brands with diversity and inclusion at their heart.
What do you think? Was it an innocent mistake by a brand trying to play homage to hip hop culture? Or another attempt to cash in on outrage?
Join in the discussion in the comments below and catch us on Twitter to keep talking.
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