British supermarket chain Waitrose is in hot water after branding chocolate Easter ducks in a manner many found racist.
The collection of three featured a milk chocolate duck named “Crispy,” a white chocolate (or yellow one, really) called “Fluffy,” and a dark chocolate one named, uh, “Ugly.”
A Twitter user shared her concern in March, after seeing the ducks for sale and overhearing other customers complaining.
Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly – trio of Easter ducklings at #waitrose . Ugly is the dark one on the right. Overheard women saying “this is not right” , I agree, doesn’t look good at all. Thousands of other options… why #ugly????? pic.twitter.com/bw5iFCcPuz
— livia a. aliberti (@livia_aliberti) March 7, 2019
The names of the ducks are said to have been inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson’s children’s story The Ugly Duckling. However, in 2019, that connection will likely fly over customers’ heads as they shop for Easter candy. Also, the “ugly duckling” has traditionally been described as gray in color before realizing she was a beautiful swan, not dark brown.
Many did not understand how this mistake could have happened.
I must say I'm pretty disgusted. It's 2019 Waitrose. 2019. Doing this to ducks, ugly or not is not OK on any level. What message is it sending? Honestly, £8. pic.twitter.com/C0OzfPJDds
— Tom Paisley (@Tompaisley) April 9, 2019
Really Waitrose ? Really ? In 2019 ? Or this now a new way to gain publicity by making a mistake and apologising https://t.co/wnaoWfvO74
— Samir Bhamra (@phizzical) April 9, 2019
Waitrose has heard the feedback and removed the ducks from its aisles a few weeks ago. The chain also apologized in a statement emailed to the Daily Dot.
“We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offence,” Waitrose said. “We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labelling and our ducklings are now back on sale.”
Meanwhile, Twitter user Livia A. Aliberti, who first called out the supermarket chain, has faced a flurry of backlash. Beyond the usual comments shitting on “political correctness,” some said her complaint was making light of other, more complex issues of racism.
I understand what you were trying to do, but by making such a big deal from a chocolate duck that is based on a story, you make racism for me and other pocs a lot worse. If you want to fight real racism, please start with people, not innocent chocolate ducks
— ????MiSH???? (@MiSHsWilli) April 9, 2019
I think it says more about you thinking immediately of black people anytime anything black and bad is put together. Its literally chocolate. How do you react to human trafficking? Or rape trees the cartels use to mark their territory.
— The Motherless Goat (@themogoat) April 9, 2019
I promise you on my life , Black people don’t give a shit about Waitrose or chocolate ducks ? https://t.co/tEsGKntaeK
— Edwin #TMC? (@edwin_afc) April 9, 2019
How can we eradicate #racism when we’re using that for a chocolate fucking duck!
Do people with Jaundice get annoyed at seeing a yellow duck!
Lets stick to combatting racism rather than silly crap like this!https://t.co/dvuXrEeDB3
— Gordon A Bruce (@gbruce9783) April 9, 2019
If that's all you have to be concerned about well done you! 99.9% of the world have real issue problems rather than complain about a chocolate duck! #getalife @waitrose you should not pander to these people – you create bigger issues when you do!!!! They are what is wrong today.
— O'Flaherty Events (@oflahertyevents) April 9, 2019
While it may appear trivial to some, perhaps that is both the point and the problem: Racism is present even in the simplest, everyday things and that infiltrates into much bigger, more obvious, possibly violent things. None of it needs to be normalized.
This post originally appeared on The Daily Dot.