‘Literally putting a band-aid on racism’: Iconic bandage company goes woke in latest corporate pander-fest
The brand posted an image of its new bandage colors fanned out from light to dark to Instagram on Thursday, accompanied by a verbose and somewhat stilted paean to diversity (“we are committed to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones…”) and a promise to make a donation to Black Lives Matter.
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We hear you. We see you. We’re listening to you. We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators and community in the fight against racism, violence and injustice. We are committed to taking actions to create tangible change for the Black community. We are committed to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin. We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you. In addition, we will be making a donation to @blklivesmatter. We promise that this is just the first among many steps together in the fight against systemic racism. We can, we must and we will do better.
Tellingly, the size of the donation wasn’t mentioned, nor were any further steps outlined beyond another promise that “this is just the first among many steps together in the fight against systemic racism.”
Band-Aid is the latest of dozens (if not hundreds) of brands to voice token support for the Black Lives Matter movement as protests triggered by the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day approach the end of their third week. From the music industry’s “Blackout Tuesday” to Instagram users replacing their profiles with black squares, the demonstrations have unleashed a veritable orgy of virtue signaling among brands and “influencers” eager to present themselves as something other than part of an oppressive power structure.
We at [INSERT BRAND HERE] truly care.Now buy our shit.— Chesty Puller's Ghost 🇺🇲 (@Priv_Sht_Lord) June 11, 2020
Nothing says 'solidarity' like a public declaration that a company's products are meant for use by all races of people – more than half a century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. But Band-Aid’s name didn’t exactly help that whole ‘sincerity’ look they were going for, given that its signature product is often used as a metaphor to describe too-little, too-late stopgap measures that don’t quite succeed.
Social media users were quick to make the obvious joke.
This is literally putting a band-aid on the whole problem of racism. https://t.co/nDGFIdCgvI— Joseph Flores, Ph.D. (@jsphflrs) June 11, 2020
Other users predicted problems with the rollout. Why not just make the bandages clear?
Good idea, Band-Aid,just don’t sell all the colors in one box. 🤔— ❌Patriot Fan🇺🇸🗽☕️🎶❌ (@FaithR8s) June 11, 2020
They make clear bandaids. Use those— Jonathan Falcon (@JonathanFalcons) June 11, 2020
Some were outraged, denouncing Black Lives Matter and demanding a boycott.
All life matters! The companies promoting this BLM will be sorry, because we are not forgetting this any time soon. It's all dirty politics. It's all for elections hype, they don't really believe what they are putting out. I won't be buying Band-Aid.— MaggieW (@MaggieW14052705) June 11, 2020
what a joke!! By highlighting purely cosmetic racial differences they are pushing races further apart. It has gone from the NOBLE goal of " judge me by the content of my character and NOT the color of my skin" to now we need colored band aides? 4 what? so I match?crazy!— Black and Proud 💋 (@Ny6964Black) June 11, 2020
…though others managed to express their disdain without losing their sense of humor.
Wow that was fast. The ink is barely dry on The new Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone demand sheet. How did Band-aid know the group wants to separate hospitals by color? Way to get on the discrimination band wagon Band-Aid! https://t.co/uJshAwgCfW— Prayerworks (@1by1Awaken) June 11, 2020
If you wear a black one but you’re not black, does that constitute as partial blackface?— Suburban Black Man 🇺🇸 (@goodblackdude) June 11, 2020
Amid the pander-monium, a few people remembered Band-Aid was owned by Johnson & Johnson, which doesn’t exactly have the best track record regarding black lives.
Do these Band-Aids cause cancer like other @JNJNews products?— Kim🐸⭐️⭐️⭐️🇺🇸 (@soohooked) June 11, 2020
Johnson & Johnson only stopped selling its talc-based baby powder in the US and Canada last month after having to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to cancer-stricken customers due to asbestos and other carcinogens allegedly lurking in its products.
In 2018, it emerged the company had known for decades that its popular baby powder contained the deadly substance, even concealing “very high” asbestos levels from the Food and Drug Administration after multiple lab tests in the 1970s. J&J continues to sell the deadly powders in the rest of the world.Also on rt.com Johnson & Johnson ends baby powder sales in US & Canada after lawsuits posit links to cancer… but will keep selling it elsewhere
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