Luxury Brand Pulls 'Blackface' Products Amid Outcry

A civil rights attorney was shocked by the display
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2018 10:50 AM CST

"I don't make a lot of public posts, but right now I'm shaking with anger." So begins a Facebook post that has stirred public indignation and pushed the luxury brand Prada to pull products from its shelves, CNN reports. Chinyere Ezie, a civil rights attorney, says she was stunned to see images resembling blackface displayed at Prada's store in Manhattan. After "a very emotional visit" to the Smithsonian's African American history museum, "I walked past Prada's Soho storefront only to be confronted with the very same racist and denigrating #blackface imagery," writes Ezie. "I entered the store with a coworker, only to be assaulted with more and more bewildering examples of their Sambo like imagery."

Inside, she was told that "a black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn't work there anymore." Shared nearly 7,000 times as of this writing, the post has prompted Prada to pull products from its Pradamalia line, which are promoted by images of monkey-like creatures with big red lips and black faces. Prada says they're "imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world" and insists the company abhors "all forms of racism and racist imagery"—but didn't actually apologize. Danielle Belton, The Root's editor in chief, puts the images in context: "Blackface has been historically used to dehumanize black people," she tells CBS News. "It's mystifying how no one along the chain said there was anything wrong with it." (More blackface stories.)

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