People are losing it over a racist ad for a Chinese laundry detergent brand called Qiaobi. The ad, which was recently uploaded to YouTube, shows a Black man with paint splattered all over his shirt and face, seductively approaching a young Chinese woman as she’s filling her washing machine. The woman pretends to be enticed and motions him to come closer — only to shove a detergent pod in his mouth and cram him into the washer. When the wash cycle is finished, she opens her machine to find a young Chinese man.
While the origins of the video aren't clear, Shanghaiist cites an online commenter who says the commercial first aired this month on television, and before movies in theaters around China. The issue of racism in the country has been widely discussed — and as Shanghaiist points out, this isn't the first time advertisements have featured problematic portrayals of race and beauty standards. It's no secret that traditional Chinese beauty standards value white skin, and that has led to some very disturbing cultural views about Black people in the region. Black people are often feared, ogled in public, or even perceived as dirty because of their darker skin tones. And these ideas are all present in the commercial above. Shanghaiist also reports that the video has some similarities to an Italian commercial for detergent, which debuted back in 2006.