I just read this in the news today and I am interested in your thoughts regarding this story. Personally, I don’t take offense to being called chocolate, in fact I often think its sounds more complimentary than black, since it’s a more realistic description of my skin tone. The article made me question whether Naomi has over reacted or whether I am under-reacting. Anyways please let me know what you think, I am very eager to get some feedback on this!
This week super model Naomi Campbell has taken legal action over the advert for a Cadbury chocolate bar that featured the slogan “Move over Naomi, there is a new diva in town” (which I assume at this point enters a chocolate)
Naomi was quoted saying “It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. It is insulting and hurtful.” She continues that her reaction is associated with childhood playground insults which were associated with having a chocolate skin tone. Naomi has said Cadbury’s remarks are clearly derogatory, out of date and in this case should not be dismissed lightly. However, it has also been questioned whether her reaction was the right move.
Back in 2007, Cadbury sparked a race row when it launched Trident chewing gum with a Caribbean man dashing about armed with a megaphone blasting out the catchphrase “mastication for the nation”. Two years later it was accused of racial stereotyping with an advert featuring a giant hovering head that caused African villagers to dance about wildly. This also leads me to believe that Cadbury may intentionally stirring up controversy to elicit rows and gain column inches of free advertising, thus boosting awareness of the brand.
Guardian columnist Lester Holloway says:
“of course it remains important that activists try to draw a high line against casual racism in public life. I just wish Campbell could have seized the chance to put down, or laugh off, the Cadbury advert in a manner that displayed self-assurance. She could have lifted the debate by showing that she is bigger than any vacuous advertising team, and avoided framing the issue as a reaction to “what they are saying about us” as opposed to defining our own realities.”