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Sainsbury’s Responds To Racist Criticism From Trolls Over Christmas Advert

by : Cameron Frew on : 16 Nov 2020 17:20
Sainsbury's Responds To Racist Criticism From Trolls Over Christmas AdvertSainsbury's Responds To Racist Criticism From Trolls Over Christmas AdvertSainsbury's

Sainsbury’s has responded to trolls who criticised its Christmas advert for featuring a Black family. 

As the festivities approach, retailers are beginning to release their seasonal adverts, from Aldi’s return of Kevin the Carrot to John Lewis’s kindness-themed effort.

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The British supermarket chain received criticism online after dropping its first advert, titled ‘Gravy Time’, which shows home video footage of a Black family spending time together at Christmas.

Check out the advert below:

One user wrote, ‘Isn’t the UK supposed to be all about Diversity and Inclusion? Don’t see any of that here. Virtual signalling if ever I’ve seen it!’ The term is actually ‘virtue signalling’, not that it makes a difference to the legitimacy of the claim.

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Among other racist comments, another supposed critic wrote, ‘This doesn’t represent me, I don’t see myself in this at all. I can’t relate.’ A third wrote, ‘The UK is 80% white. Do Sainsbury’s not have data on who actually shops there lol?’

A fourth commented, ‘Another one added to the banned list. Go woke go broke.’ Another wrote, ‘Absolutely sickening.’

The basic sentiment – many of these people find it offensive for Black people to be representative of Britain. It seems the appearance of Black people in an advert is enough for some people to cry out claims of ‘virtue signalling’ and encourage boycotts. Or perhaps the commenters are being deliberately provocative, knowing they’ll get a reaction – and that’s all they want, any reaction. Either way, it’s unnecessary.

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The company began issuing a response to the trolls, writing, ‘At Sainsbury’s, we want to be the most inclusive retailer. That’s why, throughout all our advertising we aim to represent a modern Britain, which has a diverse range of communities. We have three stories of three different families in our advertising.’

Up and down the replies, this message has been sent to a number of accounts, some of which don’t even exist anymore.

Other users also stood up for Sainsbury’s. In response to one tweet reading: ‘NEVER shopping in Sainsbury’s again’, one user wrote: ‘F*ck me… I bet they’re shaking in their boots at the thought of losing your service, bet the whole company will go under!!! Whatever will they do.’

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Another supporter wrote, ‘I wouldn’t normally weigh in on a Christmas advert but I’ve just read through the replies and wanted to say bravo to whoever’s running your social media accounts and having to spend their day replying to sad old racists throwing tantrums.’

MMA commentator Michael Morgan also tweeted: ‘Whenever I want a reminder of how racist the UK can be, despite politicians telling us the opposite… I can always rely on reactions to depictions of Black people in adverts.’

Another user joked: ‘Well done Sainsbury’s for making an ad with people who look like me. A loving father who embarrasses his daughter and claims kitchen genius because of one thing he makes well.’

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If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, Racism, UK