British supermarket chain, Waitrose, has apologised, removed, and re-labeled a chocolate product from shelves that was deemed racially insensitive.
The store was selling £8 packs of three chocolate ducks, composed of white chocolate, labelled as Fluffy, milk chocolate, as Crispy, and dark chocolate as Ugly.
People took to Twitter to angrily react to this product, questioning why the brand would name a dark chocolate animal, Ugly.
With thousands agreeing that this naming was racially offensive and insensitive, Waitrose apologised, issuing a statement saying that there was no intent to offend customers.
The product was pulled from all shelves and redesigned to eliminate the names from the box, recently being re-stocked in Waitroses around the country and online, at a cheaper price.
However, removing and relabelling the product has led to criticism from others, saying that the ugly was referring to the story The Ugly Duckling, rather than an assumption about skin tone.
In opposition, Waitrose was also accused of being too politically correct by removing the product, with critics saying that the supermarket removed the candy out of fear of being labelled.
Others say that this in an incident of trivialised racism.
My question is: how did Waitrose not see this coming?
Did anyone, in the designing of the product, think that naming the darkest chocolate in the pack, “Ugly,” was not racially insensitive?
Yes, it is a chocolate Easter candy, but the use of the word ugly on the dark chocolate duck, really?
How could someone creating and marketing this product be so blind to the racial implications in this name?
There are a lot of unanswered questions here, but in the world we live in today it seems almost carelessly offensive, and most definitely in poor taste, to have named a product, which could easily be associated with a race, “Ugly.”
Let’s be more careful about the way we frame, name, and market things, paying more intention to the implications that can be derived from poor taste.