Chinese laundry detergent ad awash with racism (VIDEO)

© Christopher Powell
A laundry detergent is advertising itself as washing away colors in more ways than one in an ad that has sparked accusations of racism online. In the commercial for ‘Qiaobi’ a black man is ‘washed’ into a Chinese man.

It begins with a young Chinese woman coming face to face with a black man wearing a dirty white T-shirt. As he leans in to kiss her he’s fed a detergent capsule and thrown head-first into a washing machine.

After a quick wash he then emerges as an Asian man, with his dirty t-shirt now sparkling clean.

The ad was posted to Facebook on Wednesday by Christopher Powell, originally from Atlanta but now living in China, who simply wrote: “I’m appalled.”

Comments on the video, which has been viewed over 3 million times, describe it as “disgusting” and “unimaginably appalling.”

The ad, which aired on Chinese TV and in cinemas this month, is reminiscent of an Italian ad from 2007 in which a scrawny white man is washed into a muscular black man.

Attitudes to black people in China have come under increased scrutiny in recent years, with many criticizing a widespread preference for light-skinned people in a society dominated by the Han ethnic group.

Lou Jing, who is of mixed Chinese and African-American ancestry, received a torrent of online abuse in 2009, after making the final of Let’s Go! Oriental Angel, a reality TV talent show.

Many commenters felt her dark skin disqualified her from taking part in such a high-profile show aimed at uncovering Chinese talent.

Blatantly racist ads in western societies aren’t uncommon either though.

Back in 2013 drinks giant Pepsi was forced to apologize and pull a commercial for Mountain Dew, which depicted a goat becoming obsessed with the soda, attacking a waitress and being put in front of an identity parade by police.

The goat appears to be characterized as a black man - while all of the other five suspects in the lineup are also African American.