Justice

This Viral Ad Literally Washes the 'Black' off of a Man

A Chinese ad featuring a Black man and an Asian woman is drawing accusations of racism in America.

The ad premiered a month ago, but it began spreading throughout social media on Thursday when an American musician living in China shared it on Facebook, according to BBC News. Christopher Powell's post about the detergent ad has garnered more than 3.7 million views and more than 15,000 shares on Facebook since yesterday.

The ad starts innocently enough.

An Asian woman throws clothes in a washing machine and a Black man walks into the room with paint on his face.

He exchanges flirty glances with the woman, who beckons him over to a laundry area.

The man leans in for a kiss but instead of returning it, the woman pops a laundry detergent tab into his mouth. She then shoves him into a washing machine.

The washing machine turns the Black man into an Asian man, and the woman rejoices.

The machine literally washed the Black off of him. The newly clean Asian man holds up the detergent and gives the camera a wink.

People on Facebook were furious over the advertisement's racist message.

"This is disgusting. It's terrifying to think how many people were involved in this "production" and thought it was a good idea. If you had described it to me I wouldn't have believed it actually existed. Holy shit." — Erica Lightfoot

They were also confused by the logistics of it all.

"I don't get how it made the shirt white but the dude came out Chinese." — Stephen Olguin

However, the ad hasn't made many waves in China.

BBC China questioned the owner of the Qiaobi laundry company and he said he didn't realize it was racist.

"I don't know much about the advertisement," Mr Xia told BBC Chinese's Grace Tsoi. He then casually said it was a surprise to him that people thought it was racist. "To be honest, I didn't really pay that much attention to the advertisement."

China has more than a billion people, but only about 600,000 of those people are foreigners and even less are Black, according to BBC News.

This isn't the first time a country with a low population of Black people has made a racially questionable advertisement. Earlier this month ATTN: reported on a Russian ice cream brand facing accusations of racial insensitivity for its depiction of President Barack Obama on its packaging. The ice cream was called "Obamka," which means "Little Obama," and featured an image of Black child wearing an earring, according to the Moscow Times.

There are less than 70,000 Black people in Russia, in a population of more than 143 million, according to Russia Now.

You can watch the full Chinese laundry advertisement on Christopher Powell's Facebook page.