Beijing: A Chinese laundry detergent firm has apologised for its controversial ad in which a black man turns into a fair-skinned Chinese man after undergoing a wash with its detergent but blamed the media for the global hype.
The advertisement of Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics Ltd Co depicts a light-skinned Chinese woman shoving a black man covered in paint into a washing machine after some flirting.
After undergoing a wash with ‘Qiaobi’ detergent, the man emerges as a light-skinned, clean Chinese man.
Within the past few days, the video has been watched nearly seven million times on YouTube, provoking a storm of allegations of racism.
In a statement of apology late yesterday, the company said, “We express our apology for the harm caused to the African people because of the spread of the ad and the over- amplification by the media.”
“We sincerely hope the public and the media will not over-read it,” the company said, adding that it has withdrawn links to the advert, and would like others to stop sharing it online.
But the company also blamed foreign media for amplifying the advert.
It first appeared in March but was halted amid protests this week which followed extensive media coverage of the controversy.
While a large number of Africans live in China, particularly in southern Guangdong province, many have complained of discrimination and prejudice from locals due in part to a widespread stigma against dark skin, the CNN reported.