Amazon sure seems to have a difficult time making sure it isn’t used to sell products from vendors that use racist descriptions to advertise their merchandise.
Recently, the company had to remove a children’s doll from its digital marketplace because some overseas company thought it was a good idea to describe a Black doll’s braided hair as “colored dirty braid fashion.”
After TMZ reported on the racist descriptor while the doll was still available online, Amazon told the publication that the product has been removed from the site.
According to TMZ, the doll’s manufacturer, Doli Yearning, is a Chinese company that has been affiliated with Amazon for less than a year.
“Doli Yearning 14-inch Adorable Black Doll with Casual Red Skirt and Colored Dirty Braid Fashion Gorgeous Doll for Ages 3+ Interactive Playtime BPA Free Safety Product Well-Designed Collectible Box,” the product description read. TMZ also pointed out what a departure that description is from how the company describes its white dolls which doesn’t include any mention of color and certainly not the word “dirty.”
In fact, one of the company’s melanin redacted dolls is sold under the description: “Doli Yearning 14-inch Adorable Doll with Denim Suit and Colored Headbands Fashion Gorgeous Doll for Ages 3+ Interactive Playtime BPA Free Safety Product Well-Designed Collectable Box.”
So OK, Amazon got wind of the issue and immediately removed it, but here’s the thing: This isn’t even the first time in 2020 that this has happened.
CNN Business reports that in August, Amazon had to remove shoes from its site because the color of the shoes was described as—I shit you not—“nigger brown.”
By the way: That incident actually marks at least the second time a company has found itself under fire for selling products from vendors that describe dark brown color patterns on merchandise as “nigger brown.”
I guess the moral of this story is: Racism is a global phenomenon that you won’t even be able to escape while getting your holiday shopping done because Amazon and other companies desperately need to get their shit together.