Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty has pulled a highlighter from its collection after many slammed its name as racist and offensive.
The controversy began last week when the makeup brand announced that it would be launching a red highlighter called “Geisha Chic,” as part of its latest lineup of Killawatt highlighters.
The backlash over “Geisha Chic” lit up Fenty Beauty’s Instagram page, with many people calling the name disrespectful to people of Asian descent, TODAY reports.
“I think it’s really important that you all rethink this name, as there is a long oppressive history of geisha culture and the fetishization of it is something people need to move away from,” one person commented. “Please reconsider.”
As noted by msn.com, Geishas have a rich history in Japan, and clothes or products inspired by them are often considered examples of cultural appropriation.
Representatives for Fenty Beauty heard the consumer criticism loud and clear and swiftly pulled the highlighter “until it can be renamed.”
“We hear you, we have pulled the product until it can be renamed. We wanted to personally apologize. Thank you so much for educating us,” a rep told a Reddit user on Instagram.
“I like this reply: short, straightforward and with an actual apology,” Reddit user PinkChampagne wrote.
“Good for them, not only apologizing but taking action, and giving no excuses,” said Redditor 321ss.
“This is a good apology. It doesn’t side step or make excuses. I’m super happy,” Reddit user SwimmingCoyote said. “It’s also a good sign that Fenty is willing to eat the cost of pulling an almost-launched product. Even if it’s just renamed, that will require a lot of money to relabel. I appreciate that Fenty didn’t just go forward with the launch while saying that they’d do better next time.”
At the time of this post, Rihanna hasn’t commented directly on the “Geisha Chic” highlighter controversy.
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