5-speed listening (Level 3)

Anger over racist Chinese advert



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There is a lot of anger on social media because of an advertisement for a Chinese laundry detergent. Some newspapers are saying it could be the most racist advert ever made. The commercial was created for the washing detergent company Qiaobi. In the ad, a young Chinese woman puts a detergent tablet into the mouth of a black man. She pushes him into a washing machine, closes the lid and then turns it on. The next scene shows the result of the wash – the black man has turned into a white Chinese man. The woman looks happy when she sees the fairer-skinned man. The ad is a month old but went viral 24 hours ago, after it was shared on social media.

Many news agencies are attacking the ad because of its racist content. The website Buzzfeed called it, the "most racist ad of 2016". It said the ad would make you feel dirty. It wrote: "The commercial will likely leave you feeling like you need a shower." One blogger complained that: "Chinese companies fail to understand the sensitivity of racism, which is a shame, but common in China." Another blogger asked: "How can these marketing people have no knowledge of racism?" The owner of Qiaobi told the BBC that he didn't realise the ad was racist until someone pointed it out. He said: "To be honest, I didn't really pay that much attention to the advertisement."

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