Darlie: Colgate will reconsider its toothpaste brand after other US companies recognize their racist roots

Darlie: Colgate will reconsider its toothpaste brand after other US companies recognize their racist roots

The popular brand, which is sold in China, the Philippines, Thailand and other Asian countries, has long been criticized for using racist images. The brand is marketed in Chinese as “Black Person Toothpaste” and was sold using the tribal surname Darkie until its name was changed in 1989.

Darlie is the leading brand with a market share in China, according to Colgate-Palmolive (CL). The brand – whose logo is still a man with a top hat and tuxedo, although it is destined to be racially vague – is under investigation.

“For more than 35 years, we have been working on brand development, including substantial name changes, logo and packaging. We are currently working with our partner to test and further develop all aspects of the brand, including the brand name. “The company said in a statement to Reuters.

The company did not respond to a request for comment outside of office hours. The connected in the Reuters report from his official Twitter account.

Protests have erupted around the world following the assassination of Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a White Police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The campaign against racial injustice has also sparked speculation in the corporate world, with some companies choosing to acknowledge the racist roots of their business.

Quaker Oats announced earlier this week that it would change the logo of Aunt Jemima’s brand, which has been widely criticized for decades as the racist caricature of a black maid from slavery. The owner of Uncle Ben, Mars and Conagra Brands, who makes Mrs. Butterworth’s, quickly followed suit. B&G Foods has also started a review of its packaging for Wheat cream, which has the image of a Black Cook.

Darlie is made by Hawley & Hazel, which was founded in Shanghai and is based in Hong Kong. Toothpaste became part of Colgate’s product line when Colgate acquired 50% of Hawley & Hazel in 1985.

The original name and logo of the toothpaste were designed in the 1920s, when Hawley & Hazel’s CEO visited the United States and saw Al Jolson, a white actor who performed on a black surface in the movie “The Jazz Singer”, according to the book “America Brushes Up.”

“The executive believed that Jolson’s wide smile and bright teeth would make a great toothpaste logo,” author Kerry Segrave wrote in the book.

After Colgate entered into a joint venture with Hawley & Hazel, US church groups pushed the company to abolish the Darkie brand, according to Segrave. Colgate resigned in 1989, renaming Darkie Darlie and redesigning the logo.

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