This Shockingly Racist Ad Uses Blackface to Show That You Can Only Succeed If You're White

January 12th 2016

Omri Rolan

Today in “Can you imagine how many people said ‘Yes’ to this before it was made?!” news, a Thai skin-lightening company, Seoul Secret, recently released an ad that attributes success to being white.

Not only does the ad imply that their spokesperson, Thai actor, model, singer, Cris Horwang, only achieved success by unnaturally whitening her skin... the company’s slogan is literally, “Whiteness makes you win!”

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The Guardian translated the ad, allowing us to follow the truly perplexing story arc of the ad:

The celebrity spokesperson used to have a hard time getting jobs until she bleached her “black” skin.

If she were to stop whitening her skin now… presumably she means from the inside out with these pills… all the work she has put into being pale will have been for nothing.

If she were to become “black” again, newer, whiter celebrities will take her place.

Though this ad is shocking in it's use of blackface and outright racist messaging, the desire to have more fair skin among Asian cultures is nothing new.

As the Global Press Journal reports, Global Industry Analysts project that the global market for skin lightening products is expected to reach almost $20 billion by 2018 and women in South Asia and Africa make up a dominant share of that market.

As expected, this bizarre portrayal of white supremacy didn’t go over well in Thailand and globally, resulting in Seoul Secret pulling the ad.

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They have since posted an apology on their official Facebook page, that reads:

Facebook Apology

Regarding the controversial clip of Snowz Gluta starring Cris Horwang, Seoul Secret, as the rightful owner of the video clip, would like to apologize for the mistake, and claim full responsibility for this incident. Our company did not have any intention to convey discriminatory or racist messages.

What we intended to convey was that self-improvement in terms of personality, appearance, skills, and professionality is crucial.

However, we would like to express a heartfelt apology and thank you all for the comments. Currently, we have removed the video clip, related advertisements, and other planned materials to show our responsibility in this incident.

You can still see the commercial here.

So, anyway…

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