On Wednesday evening, Clorox tried to get in on the buzz surrounding Apple's new emoji, which now offer a variety of skin tones in a more diverse set of ideograms. But, it went very wrong when the brand was criticized for being racist. In a now-deleted tweet, Clorox wrote, "New emojis are alright but where's the bleach." The words were followed by an image of a bleach bottle made up of emoji. Though the image and tweet no longer exist, Refinery29 was able to take a screen capture of them. Check it out:
Twitter users took offense and reacted almost instantly. Some were angry that Clorox was racist, and seemed to be implying the new diverse emoji were in need of a bleaching themselves. "Delete your account" was among the suggestions. Others were upset that many people were focusing on Clorox's accidental racism — instead of real discrimination happening in our own backyards. "Police are shooting unarmed teenagers, businesses refuse to serve gays, but by all means let's make sure we yell at Clorox over a dumb tweet," wrote one Twitter user.
The brand attempted to salvage the situation with an immediate apology and explanation. Clorox says it wasn't trying to be racist, just that it thought some emoji — like red wine and showers — could "use a cleanup.""
No word yet on a foot-in-mouth emoji.