Haribo produces one of the most popular gummy bear products on the market today. But after social media users started calling their popular snack food “racist,” the company was forced to halt production and rethink their entire approach. The candy item in question were black liquorice faces that made customers think about cultural appropriation and slave times. Although the company denies ever creating the candy with that in mind, they have given into the harsh criticism and stopped producing the “racist” snack. Learn more below!
“We decided that we could keep the product while removing the parts that certain customers found offensive,” Ola Dagliden, head of Haribo Sweden, told AFP.
Saam Kapadia wrote on Twitter how the black faced candies reminded the user of Denmark’s colonial past.
“Multiculturalism, colonial legacy or the slave trade?” Kapadia wrote. “[The] Haribo Skipper Mix makes me think about Denmark and my Danish heritage.”
The black candy faces resemble distorted faces or traditional African masks. And this was deemed offensive by the public at large.
At first the company spokesperson said the candies were supposed to resemble artifacts “a sailor who travelled the world” would have brought home from foreign lands.
The head of Haribo Sweden, Ola Dagliden claimed that the black faced candy “wasn’t something we saw as having negative connotations.” However, the public saw it as cultural appropriation without giving due credit.
However, the company decided to discontinue the racist candy to improve the public opinion of their company.
After the scandal, Haribo Sweden removed the photo of the sweet from their website.
People shared their comments all over the internet – including on the food website CookingPanda.com:
“This candy was made for the first time in 1942 and the masks were based on racist caricatures of ethnic groups, that is what the director of Haribo said about it. He says it is outdated and it´s time to change it,” shared on reader in response to a person who didn’t think this was worth reporting on.
“Are u serious complaining about a gummy candy that has been around for years? Get with it people stop being so sensitive about every little thing in this world. Get a life,” wrote Darla Seigh.
Kim Nelson shared, “My first thought, when I saw the picture of them, was Mayan Indians. Don’t know why. Must have seen some thing like that on Destination Truth or something.”
Others shared comments on Mail Online:
“Sorry but that is pathetic! The Milky Bar kid doesn’t offend me so I don’t see why a sweet should offend anyone.”
“I have heard it all now! I am a great lover of Dutch liquorice, you can get all shapes all black and absolutely delicious! PC gone mad!”
“The loonies have taken over!…….. Maybe the Society for the protection of Gummie Bears should lodge a complaint about bears mixing of different colors or that their smiles are to girlie.”
What do you think about these gummy candies? Do you think people over reacted?
Please SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS in the comments below now!