JOHANNESBURG – Unilever’s beauty and personal care brand, Dove, has been dragged by critics for a recent advert that has been slammed as racially insensitive.
Since the release of the advert people have had mixed feelings about the implications the adverts makes. One of South Africa’s celebrities, Khanyi Mbau, has come out in defense of the advert and she has applauded their ‘bravery’.
Woza la, wena Dove ------!! I can imagine the trouble Dove got in.. in the hard world ------ must applaud their bravery.. https://t.co/zbVSIx66Ak— KHANYI MBAU (@MbauReloaded) October 8, 2017
The full advert shows a looping image of an image of a black women removing her t-shirt revealing a white woman and then an Asian woman.
After watching the video, Mbau said that people who find the advert upsetting should ‘relax’ and not blow the advert out of proportion.
Finally saw the full version of this ad!! Aha!!! pic.twitter.com/kfscikjLxO— KHANYI MBAU (@MbauReloaded) October 9, 2017
Me too. Dove made a mistake by putting the black woman first, it took the message out of context. I feel we find everything too personal https://t.co/P0rgzjvQe5— KHANYI MBAU (@MbauReloaded) October 9, 2017
Be what ever you want to be!! People: I liked the old Khanyi... ME: google her.. pic.twitter.com/lTyWY75ffT— KHANYI MBAU (@MbauReloaded) October 6, 2017
Her response to the advert prompted twitter users to give their opinions about her defense of the advert.
We count Khanyi Mbau when we count white people.. she should've kept quiet like her other mates did . The @dove ad is racist .It ends there❤— Bulo⚡✨ (@_NonjabuloM) October 9, 2017
While I'm working overtime to stay black, Khanyi mbau is spending millions to be white pic.twitter.com/fBRHwkIA6d— Maurice (@masilelasimphi2) October 9, 2017
Some users superimposed her face into the advert.
Came across this lol -- Khanyi Mbau you trayna get an endorsement deal ngathi, f**k unomona wena ------ or is it because u r now Pink. pic.twitter.com/TZHCrrwRic— #Dumizulu Ft BigZulu (@Smallanyana1) October 9, 2017
Some said she is fishing for a Dove endorsement.
Khanyi Mbau is probably pitching a concept this week. She needed numbers to back her pitch. Way to go Khanyi. You got us. ------------— lebogang mohadi (@lebogangmohadi) October 9, 2017
Khanyi Mbau kicking it with Unilever execs after the interview like... pic.twitter.com/nb2UtzBIUp— B1 (@ThatNigga_TN) October 9, 2017
Khanyi mbau and her better half's— Maurice (@masilelasimphi2) October 9, 2017
Some even suggested that Mbau’s skin lightning secret is Dove.
I figured out Khanyi Mbau's secret, Shes been using dove----— ♤ THE ♡ GIVER ♤ (@ThiboTouch_VI) October 9, 2017
In past advertising campaigns Dove has tried to take a socially aware stance on beauty but it is clear that they have missed the mark with this advert.
Okay, Dove...— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 8, 2017
One racist ad makes you suspect.
Two racist ads makes you kinda guilty. pic.twitter.com/hAwNCN84h2
Dove is not new to advert controversy. In 2011 they were also accused to racism for a before and after advert which implied that darker skin was dry and lighter skin was smooth.
South Africa’s Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthetwa also participated in the debate and slammed the advert for its’ racial insensitivity.
Dove has since removed the social media post promoting the advert and they have issued public apologies on all their social media platforms.
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017