British company facing accusations of racism after released Afro-style sponges(April 27, 2012)
The British company Paladone is facing accusations of racism in the wake of the release of its Afro-style sponges in the UK.
The product featured Diana Ross, or as they call her “Diana Wash,” having a brillo pad hair style that can be used to wash up dirty dishes.
“What are we going to have next, toilet brushes like that?” Unite Against Fascism general secretary Weyman Bennett said in response to the ads, according to The Daily Mail.
“Although it’s aimed at being humorous, sometimes it’s not funny,” he continued. “We’ve spent 40 years removing racist imagery out of general politics, removing golly wogs, removing black and white minstrels, and it would be a shame if it crept back in.”
Bennett called for companies to take the sponges off the shelves because “trying to compare black people’s hair to brillo pads is not a really positive image – it’s not appropriate.”
Despite the claims of Paladone’s racism, the company is saying the product has been a huge success since hitting shelves.
“Our range of four washing up sponges are designed to make an everyday chore like washing up more fun,” a company spokesman said. “The Disco, Beehive, Punk and Diva have sold hundreds of thousands of pieces. They have been a phenomenal success.”