A Brazilian toilet paper company found itself under fire when its most recent toilet paper ad used the slogan "Black is Beautiful."
An article published in the Telegraph on Wednesday showed Brazilian toilet paper company Santher in the crosshairs for an allegedly racist ad.
What was wrong with the advertisement?
The advertisement featured a naked white actress — Marina Ruy Barbosa — wrapped in black toilet paper.
The "Black is Beautiful" slogan accompanied the ad.
— Blavity (@Blavity) October 25, 2017
— Lip (@moreiralipe_) October 23, 2017
Origins of the "Black is Beautiful" phrase can be traced back to black activists championing civil rights in the 1960s. Steve Biko, a notable South African anti-apartheid campaigner, also adopted the term in the 1960s.
What did people say about the advertisement?
- Brazilian writer Anderson França on Facebook voiced his concerns about the advertisement and said, "People died so that this expression could be revered until today. People continue dying and this expression is more important and vital than never before. But in Brazil if you key in #blackisbeautiful you are going to find ass paper."
- A Twitter user added, "In Brazil #Blackisbeautiful is not a cause, it is now toilet paper. Where do black lives matter?"
- Another social media user said, "Isn’t it just a color? White, Red, Black…. or everything in life has to have social context? Seriously, all I see is a toilet paper colour!"
- Humberto Adami, a prolific lawyer in Rio, told the Guardian, "When these adverts suggest this type of subliminal racism they should be removed, because they reinforce the teaching of racism."
- Santher, in a statement on their website, apologized for using the slogan for the advertisement. "We would like to clarify that we have never had any intention of provoking a racial discussion through the launch of our Personal VIP Black Toilet Paper."