Controversy Sparked After Afro Style Washing Sponge Is Launched In Markets [PHOTOS]

  on April 27 2012 6:27 AM

Afro
Afro Style Washing Sponge Launched in UK Markets (Paladone)

British sponge manufacturer Paladone has been slammed for its latest range of Afro-style dishwashing sponge product.   

The company has earned massive criticism as being racist with the launch of this product.

The dishwashing sponges incorporate images of soul singer Diana Ross and an obscure Disco male dancer with an Afro hairstyle.

The stereotypical hairstyle is made out of brillo pad with steel wool for cleaning dishes. Lambasted by Black leaders in the UK for reinforcing negative stereotypes, the sponges are now available in the country.    

The United Against Fascism (UAF), an anti-fascist pressure group in the UK has lambasted the company for making golliwogs as cleaning products.    

Afro
Afro Style Washing Sponge Launched in UK Markets (Paladone)

What are we going to have next, toilet brushes like that? This is not appropriate for the 21st century to show images like that. It reinforces negative stereotypes and ideas, Daily Mail reported quoting UAF's joint secretary Weyman Bennett.

He also said that, Although it's aimed at being humorous, sometimes it's not funny. We've spent 40 years removing racist imagery out of general politics, removing golly wogs, removing black and white minstrels, and it would be a shame if it crept back in.

Under the UAF group, Bennet has been campaigning with the aim of alerting the British society to a supposed threat of fascism.    

He warned the company saying, It opens the door for people to produce racial stereotypes and that's not something we want to see in our society. We've worked very hard to make sure that doesn't happen. That's can't be a positive thing in the 21st centry that we are using images that were really invented in periods of slavery and discrimination.

Bennett also attacked the company for the sponges and told them to take the alleged Afro-style products off the supermarket shelves.

They need to think again. Is there no way they can come up with positive views of people without just using negative views of black people. Trying to compare black people to brillo pads is not a really positive image - it's not appropriate, he said.

Meanwhile, the company said that the new range of dishwashing sponges were a phenomenal success since the time they went on sale in the UK markets.

However, the company's effort to leverage the product with a little humor about a seventies disco theme seems to have completely backfired.

Our range of four washing up sponges is designed to make an everyday chore like washing up more fun, the company spokesman said. The Disco, Beehive, Punk and Diva have sold hundreds of thousands of pieces. They have been a phenomenal success.

The products are available in the market and are priced up to £8. 

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