Dunkin’ Donuts Criticized for ‘Racist’ Ad Campaign

My Fox DC, August 30, 2013

A leading human rights group has called on Dunkin’ Donuts to withdraw a “bizarre and racist” advertisement for chocolate doughnuts in Thailand that shows a smiling woman with bright pink lips in blackface makeup.

The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Thailand launched a campaign earlier this month for its new “Charcoal Donut” featuring the image, which is reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols of a racist era.

Ad

In posters and TV commercials, the campaign shows the woman with a shiny jet black, 1950s-style beehive hairdo holding a bitten black doughnut alongside the slogan: “Break every rule of deliciousness.”

Human Rights Watch said it was shocked to see an American brand name running an advertising campaign that would draw “howls of outrage” if released in the United States.

{snip}

The campaign hasn’t ruffled many in Thailand, where it’s common for advertisements to inexplicably use racial stereotypes. A Thai brand of household mops and dustpans called “Black Man” uses a logo with a smiling black man in a tuxedo and bow tie. One Thai skin whitening cream runs TV commercials that say white-skinned people have better job prospects than those with dark skin. An herbal Thai toothpaste says its dark-colored product “is black, but it’s good.”

The CEO for Dunkin’ Donuts in Thailand dismissed the criticism as “paranoid American thinking.”

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said CEO Nadim Salhani. “We’re not allowed to use black to promote our doughnuts? I don’t get it. What’s the big fuss? What if the product was white and I painted someone white, would that be racist?”

{snip}

“Not everybody in the world is paranoid about racism,” said Salhani, a Lebanese expatriate in Thailand who said his teenage daughter was the model featured in the campaign. “I’m sorry, but this is a marketing campaign, and it’s working very well for us.”

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  • It must’ve been a black Thai affair.

    • Spartacus

      I needed a good five minutes, but I finally got it !

    • Erasmus

      Clever!

    • Sick of it

      Not difficult to arrange, all genetics considered.

    • Chris

      HA, Good one.

    • Wethepeople

      Thanks for the laugh, this is why I enjoy Caucasian companions. It’s nigh impossible to find a witty Bantu.

      • Erasmus

        Bantu humor at its cleverest is no wittier than a nine year old boy farting loudly during a moment of silence. It’s why they resort to mo’-fo’-this and mo’-fo’-that.

        Gnome sane?

  • Spartacus

    “The campaign hasn’t ruffled many in Thailand, where it’s common for
    advertisements to inexplicably use racial stereotypes. A Thai brand of
    household mops and dustpans called “Black Man” uses a logo with a
    smiling black man in a tuxedo and bow tie. One Thai skin whitening cream
    runs TV commercials that say white-skinned people have better job
    prospects than those with dark skin. An herbal Thai toothpaste says its
    dark-colored product “is black, but it’s good.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Is this the same country that banned The Simpsons because their skin was yellow ?

  • Puggg

    Didn’t Joe Biden make a joke about Dunkin Donuts franchises all being owned by Indians?

    • MekongDelta69

      He said 7-11s.

      But it’s ok – Biden’s a wacked out leftist. Leftists can NEVER be questioned about anything they say, because they are ‘morally superior’ to us heathens, and they ‘care’ about the ‘oppressed,’ – doncha know…

      • SFLBIB

        Hey! Waitaminnit. Wait one cotton-pickin’ minnit. Leftists told us that no one’s morality is superior to anyone else’s, so how can they be ‘morally superior’ to us heathens?

  • dd121

    Listen people, let’s all just try to get along.

    • MrGJG

      You on the wrong website for that comment. We’re not the initiators.

      • MBlanc46

        I’m hoping that was sarcasm.

        • MrGJG

          If you’re referring to”you” instead of “you’re”, it was just a horrible mistake.
          I hope I don’t start listening to rap and quoting Al Sharpton.

          • MBlanc46

            I meant the statement to which you were replying.

  • bigone4u

    One of my former professor colleagues was disciplined for bringing a racist pie to work. It was a black bottom pie. It’s racist to have blacks on the bottom, gnomesayin?

    • IstvanIN

      You are kidding I trust.

      • bigone4u

        Nope, not kidding, a black secretary complained and the prof was demonized. I sat on his hearing committee.

        • Irishgirl

          Did you at least get to eat the pie?

        • IstvanIN

          I suppose it is similar to the word “picnic” being banned at my job.

        • dd121

          Was he/she niggardly in sharing the pie? Oh wait, I guess the secretary would file charges on that too.

        • BarnyL

          Can’t have an “n” word upset now, can we?

      • MekongDelta69

        Unfortunately, he’s not. Idk if it’s the same story, but I read about exactly this happening. The reason I remember it, is because it was a “black bottom” pie.
        (AmRen may even have this in their archives.)

        • bigone4u

          You can’t buy a black bottom pie in the supermarkets around here. If you want one, you have to make it yourself. I guess the supermarkets are afraid to sell a racist pie.

          • Lagerstrom

            They would be afraid to sell such a pie. A ‘n-word’ might unwittingly purchase the pie, find out what it truly is later, retreat to a bathroom to cry for 45 minutes, then sue the supermarket for $250,000!

          • BarnyL

            A pie can’t be racist. The people that complain about it are certain to be racist.

            “black bottom pie” Are they nice to eat? Isn’t that what a pie is for?

    • Erasmus

      Then life is racist. You can promote them beyond their pay grade, but everyone knows not to look to a black boss or lead for competence or guidance.

    • BarnyL

      ” It’s racist to have blacks on the bottom….” So a Black Topped Pie would be ok in the eyes of the PC Nazis?

      What sad and dangerous people they are.

    • SFLBIB

      That’s my theory of finding racism under a rock: it’s dark on the underside of a rock, making dark on the bottom.

      I learned an old radar engineering rule of thumb in the Air Force: “When you increase the sensitivity, you increase the false alarm rate.” It obviously has implications far outside of engineering.

  • T_Losan

    hmmm, so according to Human Rights Watch:

    Whites with darkened skin: breach of human rights
    Blacks howling like dogs: A-OK

  • MekongDelta69

    I was going to leave a comment, but I think D.B. (below) said all that needed to be said…

    I’m glad someone didn’t grovel though.

  • White Mom in WDC

    Blacks are so self involved they think that every white person on the planet is out to get them. We just want to be left alone. I wish I did not have to think or know about black people; I wish they would just go away

    • NorthSea

      Bet they don’t go to Thailand.

    • Rhialto

      It wasn’t a Black organization that moaned about the “racist” ad; it was a White group, Human Right Watch. Perhaps Human Right Watch believes that Blacks are too stupid to know when they are being insulted.

  • NorthSea

    Nadim Salhani is my new hero. I’m getting a passport and a Thai phrase book. Wanna learn to say “let me in.”

  • sbuffalonative

    Despite the Thai’s initial deflection of criticism, the US corporate office has issued an apology.

  • Irishgirl

    “Paranoid American thinking.”

    Well put.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Human Rights Watch said it was shocked

    Oh the horror! The unimaginable horror!

    Guess Human Rights is too busy with such horrific examples of human rights abuses that it doesn’t have time to notice the numerous White-on-Black murders in the U.S. and South Africa.

    I say we send Jackson, Sharpton and Winfrey to Thailand to get to the bottom of this outrage. It’ll be worth the sacrifice we’ll all have to suffer in their absence.

    Bon

    Asia’s Human Rights Watch Director Phil Robertson

    • 94122

      Doesn’t that guy just look like a huge pain the *ss? Poor thing, he’s all thai’d up

    • NM156

      I’m having visions of him being pilloried on a street corner and pummeled in the face with tomatoes.

  • MBlanc46

    “[T]he image, which is reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American
    stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols
    of a racist era.” By Fox, perhaps. Not by me.

    • 94122

      If I’d run across the image anywhere else but here, I’d have taken it to be an updated late 70s-early 80s “punk rock” inspired tribute. The hot pink/black pairing was typical of the look back then, even Olde Guard rocking folkie Linda Ronstadt used it for her New Wave-inspired “Mad Love” album cover. Of course, any faces in the original images would always be starkly white or some other unnatural color. I think the upswept, processed ghetto ‘do and the word ‘charcoal” are the trigger points in the image. Just writing that last sentence was intensely annoying, but I was, after all, using the language of the race pimps.

  • IstvanIN

    Funny thing is I saw the picture a few days ago and didn’t think Negro at all, I just saw a white girl colored charcoal with bright pink lips. Just thought it was a goofy ad.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    All I can say is Thailand is a strange place.

    • LIBERTYSINCURSION

      What’s the deal with the KFC Colonel Hitler thing? That can’t be an actual ad is it?

      • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

        I guess it was Fuhrer Lickin’ Good until the international outcry. Here’s some more Thai Hitler kitsch:

        • My understanding is that East Asians are the world’s largest consumers of reproduction Nazi militaria (uniforms and the like). Curious, that.

    • Spartacus

      HEIL PEPSI !

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    Sure why not? Hispanic kills a black kid and blacks beat and kill whites in revenge. A Lebanese man offends someone in Thailand and white American’s are blamed. Yup, sounds about right to me. It’s totally logical in the age of diversification!

  • WhiteGuyInJapan

    One irony is that the Thai, like many Asians, view pale skin as beautiful and high status and darker skin is associated with the lower classes. The people of rural Issan are the “hillbillies” of Thailand.

  • William Krapek

    “Wow. What a beautiful ad.”

    That’s the first thing I thought when I saw it. And that is a very beautiful young lady.

  • IstvanIN

    The original name was “Darkie”.

  • BarnyL

    The people in power around the world don’t consider such things to be a problem.

    They are more concerned about thought crimes. It keeps us in check.

  • BonusGift

    Hint: Soros is key contributor to that organization. Get the picture now?

  • MrGJG

    You should lighten-up.

  • SFLBIB

    A local grocery store let the high school put up a huge banner advertising its “Black and White Dance”. I decided to have a little fun and told them they might be in a lot of trouble because of the racial sounding name of the dance. It stirred up a controversy for a little while.

  • MBlanc46

    They do have religious strife. There’s a Muslim movement in (I believe) southern Thailand.