Ava DuVernay Does Not Accept Dove's Apology For Their 'Racist' Facebook Advert

For some, Dove's Twitter apology is not enough

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On Friday, an American make-up artist called Naomi Blake screen-grabbed a Dove advert on her Facebook newsfeed. It featured a black woman taking her shirt off to become a white woman and then the white woman doing the same, becoming asian.

She posted the screenshot to her page with the caption, 'So I'm scrolling through Facebook and this is the #dove ad that comes up.... ok so what am I looking at….'

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The post quickly went viral, with over 10k shares and almost 4k reactions.

On Saturday morning, Dove Tweeted an apology, saying, 'An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.'

However, there are people who don't think this is enough, including director Ava DuVernay, who told the brand, 'You can do better than "missed the mark." Flip + diminishing. Deepens your offence. You do good work. Have been for years. Do better here.'

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Although the advert also featured a white woman 'turning' asian, many people have pointed out the deeply problematic image of a black woman turning white, particularly in relation to cleaning/cleansing or other beauty products such as lotions.

A dark skinned person becoming white is, tragically, a trope recorded many times in beauty industry history. Don't believe us, take a look at this very recent detergent commercial.

Also, the skin lightening industry is a large business that profits from the idea that being lighter is more beautiful.

To give thought to Dove, their intention does seem to have been to convey that the product is suitable for a range of different skin types. However, the image of black becoming white is almost always problematic.

Blake, who initially called-out the advert, even suggested that placing the women in a different order would have helped to avoid the issue.

Other users have pointed out that this is not the first time a Dove advert has been 'problematic.'

The all-WOC collective of Gal-Dem wrote about the advert's far-reaching and troubling effects in an article titled, 'When will companies like Dove realise we don't all want to be white?'

Hopefully Dove and other companies will take on the various criticisms and work harder with marketing and advertising companies to ensure things like this don't continue happening.

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