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Prada Pulls Down Offensive 'Blackface' Keychains that Evoke Racist Imagery After Severe Backlash

Many on social media claimed that taking the $550 keychains off shelves did not solve the problem of racist imagery still being used by several companies and creators across the world.

News18.com

Updated:December 18, 2018, 12:35 PM IST
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Prada Pulls Down Offensive 'Blackface' Keychains that Evoke Racist Imagery After Severe Backlash
(Credit: Facebook)

Fashion magnate Prada recently courted controversy after it was accused of using racist 'blackface' imagery for some trinkets it recently launched as part of its new 'Pradamalia' range. Following sever backlash, the company has issued an apology and have recalled all the questionable products from its worldwide stores.

It all started last week after a lawyer Chinyere Ezie, who works with the U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights, posted a photo of some of these alleged 'blackface' trinkets including monkey-toy charms and keychains, in a storefront window in Soho.

In the post, Ezie wrote that she was 'shaking with anger' at the 'Sambo like imagery' of the Prada store.

"...after a very emotional visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture including an exhibit on blackface, I walked past Prada’s Soho storefront only to be confronted with the very same racist and denigrating #blackface imagery," Ezie wrote.

She added that when she entered the store to confront the storekeepers, some of the staff allegedly said, "A black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn’t work there anymore,".

The post was shared over 11,000 times and has caused massive outrage with many agreeing that the new trinkets did, in fact, evoke racist imagery. The toys in question, Otto and Toto, are part of the new Pradamalia collection. These monkey like toys and charms are sold with elaborate origin stories and are described by Pradas as "fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre". But social media wasn't having it and immediately called the collection out.

After the backlash, Prada issued an official apology:

However, the controversy fails to die down. Many on social media claimed that taking the $550 keychains off shelves did not solve the problem of racist imagery still being used by several companies and creators across the world.

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