Japanese ramen maker Nissin, which sponsors tennis star Naomi Osaka, has apologized for ‘whitewashing’ the player’s skin tone in an anime ad which triggered a massive backlash from fans.
The company’s “Hungry to Win” Cup Noodle advertisement, which featured Osaka as an anime character with light brown hair and pale skin, drew criticism for not being an accurate depiction of the player, who has Haitian roots
The ad, which was illustrated by Japanese anime artist Takeshi Konomi, famous for his “Prince of Tennis” cartoon, drew a ton of backlash.
日清の大坂なおみ ／ TIME誌のNaomi Osaka pic.twitter.com/jqF5tTd2Q1
— 堂本かおる (@nybct) January 12, 2019
I just saw that Nissin noodle ad where they drew Naomi Osaka as white to make her look ‘desirable’ and I’m disappointed but I’m 200% not surprised. Just like how they cut miles without the spider mask out from the jp commercial. Japan does not like black people. Water is wet. 😶
— azealia🍌🐟 (@neonfloe) January 23, 2019
According to a Japanese noodle maker this White girl here is Naomi Osaka. They completely erase BOTH her Blackness and her Japanese features. That is the insanity of internalizing white supremacy. pic.twitter.com/VTZcqQ07GZ
— Ms♀️⛪🌻 (@SimplyThandeka) January 23, 2019
Responding to the backlash, Nissin apologized for presenting a light-skinned version of the player, vowing “to pay more attention to diversity issues in the future.”
“There was no intention of whitewashing,” a Nissin spokesperson said by way of apology. “We accept that we are not sensitive enough and will pay more attention to diversity issues in the future.”
Stuff your sorries in a sack.
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