I hate these articles because fashion should be uniting and not dividing, but this is just insulting. Woolworth is receiving a new wave of complaints after having black colored mannequins lines up by each other with ropes tied from their hands to their necks. As seen of the featured image above. Could it be overreacting?
I have always believed certain companies rare their ugly side every now and then by making racial offenses for pr and promotional purposes. Let’s face it, Woolworths SA won’t have had all this coverage had they not been so stupid. Maybe the got a tip from H&M informing them how it helps to be racist.
Many people assume it might hurt their sales, but there are also some racists Europeans who might feel a connection and even support these entities more. So technically by doing so they get free promotion from the complaints and articles such as these, which then leads to acknowledgement and appreciation from those who just can’t get enough of racism. Who knows the amount of rich investors who admire such acts? We all saw how quickly rich Zimmerman got for killing a black boy.
The same racist tactic Vogue magazine uses every now and then to remain in the mainstream. However you would think like Vogue, Woolworths will do the same but in a subtle way which it can explain or be forgotten about. Not sure how to explains this. And if not a slavery depiction, what the hell is this? I’ve never seen anything like this in a shop window from Europe to America to Africa. And what’s the coincidence that all the mannequins happened to be black. Yes they explained why the colored of the mannequin are grey because they are outdated etc etc etc, The staff still knew what they were looking at.
To be honest, I believe South Africans should take to the streets to have Woolworths and H&M removed from their country. A Facebook user reached out to the brand via Facebook, and pointed out the “insulting” depiction, stating it “suggests they promote such barbaric acts against humanity.”
The store responded – “You’ve got a very valid point. We’ve contacted our store installation team and will get back to you as soon as we can.“
Here is their poor excuse for an apology…
We apologise for the distress caused by an incorrectly assembled RE: in-store installation.
At the start of any campaign, our stores are taken through the creative direction for installations via a ‘model store’ set up. This festive season’s installation is supposed to hold Christmas baubles suspended off ropes, being supported by the mannequins. One store implemented the installation incorrectly, using the rope without the Christmas baubles.
The mannequins used in RE: displays are made from recycled materials which is why they are naturally grey in colour; they don’t represent a particular race.
As soon as we became aware of the error yesterday afternoon we contacted the relevant team to make sure the mistake was corrected as soon as possible. The offending display is now fixed.
This is an important note for these big chain stores, becareful who you employ because you will need to carry the burden of their offensive acts if it’s not from the head of the company.