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Candy giant bows to 'China racism' complaint

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 20 Sep 2011, 08:55

Published: 20 Sep 2011 08:55 GMT+02:00

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"Kinapuffar" (literally: Chinese pops) is a chocolate-covered product with packaging that features a caricature of a bright yellow Chinese face with a red pointed rice hat.

Fazer's move is in response to a column in the local Swedish newspaper Helsinborgs Dagblad (HD) which took issue with the packaging.

"We have taken the feedback that we received on board and are going to change the packaging," Fazer's Sofia Liljefors-Edlund told the newspaper.

In his column, HD journalist Patrik Lundberg wrote that "to joke and laugh at Asians seems to be the only racism which can pass by unremarked".

"All it takes is stretching your eyes with your fingers or saying L instead of R, then the audience explodes with laughter," Lundberg wrote.

He argued that the packaging is no better that the "Nogger black" - an ice cream product which caused consternation among some Afro-Swedish groups a few years back, prompting its withdrawal.

While Lundberg has himself not contacted Fazer, several of his readers elected to remind the Finnish firm of its responsibilities, prompting their response.

Story continues below…

The firm is yet to decide on just how it plans to redesign the packaging.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:08 September 20, 2011 by Abe L
They should feel honored instead. There is no white people candy with a caricature of a white person either and if there was, nobody would care.

Stop wasting people's time with this kind of nonsense. Worry about wether you can improve the quality of the candy instead.
10:13 September 20, 2011 by J Jack
Replace it with the face of a Blonde Swedish diabetic.
10:25 September 20, 2011 by zooeden
Im so tired of this racism BS!!!
11:16 September 20, 2011 by Grokh
what a bs -_-x.

they have another package that is red, does it mean its a communist chinese?

anyway just bs, focus on more important things instead, maybe do a package saying "china dont respect human rights" that should solve it, its not racist its just truth.

id rather be associated with tasty chocolate but i guess thats racist -_-x
11:46 September 20, 2011 by ?????
People considering this to be racist have a problem in their head or what? And are they trying to impose this problem in our heads too or WHAT???

Get a life....really
13:19 September 20, 2011 by Rishonim
This is just a little taste of the things to come if the China becomes the world super power. Bow down to your master....
13:25 September 20, 2011 by ?????

Is "Lundberg" a chinese name?
13:49 September 20, 2011 by Rishonim
@?????, I know a few Chinese people with the name Lundberg....
15:06 September 20, 2011 by swedejane
I heard the new design features a white man in black face.
16:26 September 20, 2011 by Tanskalainen
This reminds me of when a famous cartoonist drew a cartoon of a man in a bar with hooks for hands and the bartender was saying to him "Sorry, Ben you just can't hold your liquor" some blasted do-goody like Lundberg went charging down to his office to confront the cartoonist for "making fun of the handicapped" not knowing that the artist was a quadraplegic (sp) who drew with his teeth!
19:43 September 20, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
What's wrong with being "racist"??????
20:02 September 20, 2011 by stoogefest
^ Most of the time it's not even racist. It's SPECIESIST.

Yeah. Typical monkeyshines. Facts be racist. Work beez racist. You not tolerating my hideous puke-sounding hindi music is racist. Not wiping your ass with your hand and not eating rice with the same hand is racist.

Not tolerating midnight calls from your roommate is racist. Not tolerating snoring is racist.

You liberals are messed up.
20:16 September 20, 2011 by mkvgtired
For the people that have been to China, you already know this is very normal of Chinese products. We just laughed. I guess its ok for Chinese products, but not Swedish
20:16 September 20, 2011 by ironman294
Of course the caricature is offensive. It's obvious most of you in here is not asian or chinese. There are very few instances of Chinese in media other than martial artists, gangsters or being immigrants who cannot speak teh language of their adopted country. You hardly ever see an everyday normal Chinese being portrayed or represented except for stereotypes as the candy.

The fact that none of you can empathize, just goes to show you how far we have to go. Caricatures like that were used to attack Chinese in the states and I am sure in other countries and people were taught to fear them as these foreign devils, so you could try and understand why they would not like these images.
20:17 September 20, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
What a horrible thing to say!

Calling a person "liberal" is the epitome of malicious dislike and will not be "tolerated".

Tolerated is a must word in conversations like this one. LOL
21:32 September 20, 2011 by Soft Boiled
I hope they dont find out about the Japp bar :o
21:53 September 20, 2011 by summo
if china start canning it's own herring and they called it Sven's with a picture of a blonde haired stockholmer with greased back hair, would China demand that the packaging be changed because it could be offensive to all Swedes and others who choose to jump on the band wagon? Probably NOT.

Images of all types are used in marketing the world over, that's life, get over it.
22:19 September 20, 2011 by ironman294
Why are any of you bringing up China or the Chinese government for?

The Chinese government or the country did not protest the Candy.

And yes the caricature is very insesitive.

The reason why no one would care if a blond blue eyed swede was put on a cartoon is because there is no negative stereotype associated with that.

Chinese people do not have slits for eyes nor do we all wear those farmers hats.

You people who say get over it do not understand anything.
22:53 September 20, 2011 by benjaminchen
Comment: outdated ideas, u guys should really go to China and see what is going on there. u couldn't imagine the speed of development of China, just keep ur self-imposed.
23:16 September 20, 2011 by MarkinBoston
Ah so... me likey candy!
23:29 September 20, 2011 by rls976
@post 17 & 21

You argue that the caricature is offensive, in opposition to those who consider it not to be. So, it is and it isn't. It is to you, but to some others it is not. If you are offended, the proper course is for you to abstain from ever purchasing the product.

You are another manifestation of a rampant phenomenon in today's nonwhite world, of the anxious readiness to be offended by "insensitive" whites. Strike a pose of being offended and emotionally injured, and thereby bully the whites - who in our era are collectively racial cowards - into submission. Its a process that negroes here in the US (along with hispanics, who shouldn't even be here) excel at.

@summo (post #20)

In light of the racial transformation of Sweden that the Swedes are sitting back and letting their leftist governments execute: If, a few decades hence, the Chinese start canning their own herring, they will call it "Mohammed's" and have a caricature of a black-haired, brown-skinned, black-bearded Arab Stockholmer on the label (in the interest of accuracy). The historical Sweden is in its twilight.
03:27 September 21, 2011 by per1970
I have a doughter, adopted from china, she never reakted on this, even tho she loves the china treats, I can understand it in some how, but not in the way its puted here
07:06 September 21, 2011 by Soft Boiled
How dare Fazer make fun of Chinese homosexual men and then compound the insult by putting a stereotyped gay man in lipstick and drag on the packet. I say remove Chinese Puffs from the shelves!
07:27 September 21, 2011 by rise
Patrik Lundberg must have a good fantasy to even see the things he's seeing in a funny cartoon image! It is Lundberg himself who is the rasist, projecting it on other people and trying to hide his own racism.
15:00 September 21, 2011 by Ben Gipsat
I am half-Chinese and find the caricature very offensive. I was taunted as a child at school because of my eyes.

Honestly, I don't easily get offended but this really is as bad as Herge's Congolese characters, Robinson's golliwogs and blacking-up.

It is outdated and should be banned.

I'm not being racist, but...
17:17 September 21, 2011 by conboy
Do I detect a chink in the Swedish social armoury?
19:14 September 21, 2011 by Ben Gipsat
No you don't, Cuntboy!
19:34 September 21, 2011 by rise
It's a laughing face! Everyone's having eyes like that when laughing..!
00:17 September 22, 2011 by AnnicaE
How long have this candy been around? I'm 50+ and have eaten it since I was little and never even thought anything bad about chinese people... Leave our candy alone... Everyone's so sensitive, if you really look I guess you can find something that you don't agree with whree ever you look...


I'm afraid you need a referral from your GP, sent to Hudmottagningen, Sophiahemmet, Stockholm. They are fully booked (one of the few places for skin), phone 08 - 406 28 05, monday-thursday 10:30 - 12. I wish I had your e-mail and not write this here..., sorry!
03:47 September 22, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
This is no joke: There was a licorice candy marketed here in the U.S. back in the 1950s-early 1960s called "Nig*er Babies," it was taken off the market by the mid-1960s. Depicting those of another race in a caricature form on confectionery products--supposedly under an innocent paradigm--is nothing new. Now, what I resent is the fact that many Asian companies, especially from Japan, are guilty of the same offence, and in many instances even WORSE. The Konami Corporation of Japan markets a slot machine here in the USA that depicts the Native Hawaiian deity "Madame Pele" on it and refuses to discontinue this practice. To Native Hawaiians, and even whites who have lived in Hawaii for decades, especailly on the Big Island, placing an image of Madame Pele on a slot machine is tantamount to placing Jesus Christ of the Virgin Mary on said slot machine. Many Japanese-owned tourist shops in Waikiki delight in displaying grotesque statues at their front door entrances that are caricatures of the stereotypical fat Native Hawaiian male with his pants below the crack of his backside, and the Native Hawaiian female shown in a very suggestive/provocative demeanor with just a grass-skirt on. I find what East Asians get away with FAR MORE offensive than Fazer's packaging of this product which is NOT in any moral violation or racist deed whatsoever, and I was born in a place where East Asians are the majority.
06:58 September 22, 2011 by edvyan
As a Chinese, when seeing the package I don't see any links to racism or such intention. Instead I think it's a nice design, slant eye red-lipped smiling cute boy (or girl I can't discern). This may be a typical Chinese depicted in their mind. The only thing I can't get is why it wears a ludicrous rice hat. It is quite uncommon in China and maybe only found in some remote rural areas in southwest, or more general in Thailand and Vietnam.

As to the topic in question, racism is a very strong term that may only take place when certain ethnic groups in some aspects (culture, exterior, sci-tec etc) are much more superior than some other groups. For instance, tigers could discriminate rabbits due to the great disparity of power, but not lion as they are equally characterized in general. In reality the situation may be much more complicated but the rule is simple. Back to this thread and to those east Asians who thought of being offended, unless you consider this typical appearance is of inferior in contrast to some counterparts in your mind, simply take it and get used to it. It's quite common to see all kinds of strange nose of the caricatured westerners, it doesn't make a big deal really.
15:21 September 22, 2011 by Rebel
Okay, at least don't blame the Chinese for this -- I doubt any Chinese would see this as bad.
17:18 September 22, 2011 by Scansson
I'm curious to know what a Dynamite manufacturer should have as a mascot on the side of their crates?
19:16 September 22, 2011 by conboy
Ben Gipsat you win the argument at the end of the day which one of us has flung dung?
02:17 September 23, 2011 by nathan45
This political corect thing has been takin way to far. We cant even make products how we want in our own countrys who cares what the chinese people think of it.

If they had a stereotypical swedish fisherman on a can of fish in china or japan their government would not be forcing them to change it and thats a fact the west needs to get a grip.
04:38 September 23, 2011 by Da Goat
@ marilyn

Softboiled #26 wrote the best bit of Irony, sarcasm, satire on the whole thread and you of all people missed it worse in #28 you seem to go off ! you are slipping girl I like your work but I think you miss-understood that one!

I don't think you need a sarcasm/irony lesson as you da best lecturer on this subject!

My thoughts are get a life people that is the best packaging you can get, they are called china-pops/puffs so you can't stick a Lebanese on the packet can you, you need a stylised stereotypical logo to grace the cover, if you remove the "chinaman" (that does look more Vietnamese) then you have to rename the product and then nobody will know what to buy! the whole thing is just childish BS!

is it racist against Chinese as suggested by the name or is it racist against south east Asians as suggested by the picture? NO NO, it is just a lolly packet for small children (and small minded adults) children are not racist naturally!
06:53 September 23, 2011 by Marc the Texan
As with the likeness of Mohammad, it is now politically unacceptable to show a caricature in the likeness of any ethnic group that is not white. Likewise, it is also a serious offense to use the term Chinaman in conversation yet curiously the terms Englishman and Frenchman are perfectly acceptable.
11:09 September 23, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
Now, this post is coming from someone who was born in Hawaii, like Obama, a place that is predominantly East Asian in its population. This has been blown way out of proportion. We would NOT find the packaging on Fazer's "Kinapuffar" to be offensive; however, someone intentionally extending their eyelids to imitate an East Asian WOULD be considered offensive. One of the commentators out here, 'edvyan' (#36), who says they're of Chinese descent, made a very valid point: the depiction isn't even of someone Chinese as much as someone who is Vietnamese or Thai (or Laotian or Cambodia), in reference to the rice hat that is worn. Even Filipinos wear such hats while working in rice paddies, but finding a Chinese person doing so would be more uncommon. Furthermore, some of you really need to shop in an "Oriental" (now this term IS offensive simply because westerners would find it offensive to be called "Occidentals," besides the fact that "Oriental" became a pejorative during WW2), most prefer 'Asian,' market. In such Asian market, you'll find 100's of commodities, from east Asia itself, that depict Asian people in even MORE of a controversial caricature form than this Fazer product that STILL would NOT be considered offensive by East Asians.
15:19 September 23, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ AnnicaE # 34

Thank you so much for the information. It is appreciated very much. So sorry about your experience with the birth of your baby. I am glad the "quack" no longer can practice medicine. I went through something very similar in Canada, but my baby died.

Our posts have made me really evaluate the grave importance of a clear exchange of ideas. Wars have been fought because of a misinterpretation of one word. It is refreshing to work through a difference of view logically and calmly, and come to the "middle ground" where both people can understand each others view. Nice to find a "voice of reason" on the Local. Have a happy and peaceful weekend.
15:27 September 24, 2011 by chang
Most Chinese wouldn't be offended by the design because they are extremely powerful, even rivaling against the only superpower, USA, in the global context. They have so many different people and nations living together in a huge area. Thus, they don't care such a small thing. Regarding the design, most Chinese people do not wear such a hat. I think most Swedish people don't know East Asian people and countries. Some Swedish people have a brief experience of traveling southeastern countries such as Thailand, but they don't know people, history and culture in Northeast Asian countries at all.
11:27 September 25, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
chang: I agree. Generally, they are unfamiliar with the Chinese, Koreans, and, to a lesser extent, the Japanese. Whoever thought that this product's packaging would be offensive to Chinese persons is so misguided. I think that they were trying to exaggerate the effect because we all know that there are far more Chinese in the world than any other Northeast Asian nationality. But for the sake of Southeast Asians, I think it would be a good idea to eliminate the hat, and depart from the primary colour of yellow. Otherwise, an East Asian face in a part of the world that definitely needs more of their representation, should still remain on this candy's wrapper, as well as other forms of advertising; that is, if it's in a positive form of representation.
14:35 September 27, 2011 by erik68
Bring back negerbollar!
15:06 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
Was there monetary compensation? If so, I want my share. I wear red lipstick and hats and it is total bigotry towards me because it makes me look bad. That is just prejudice against we who wear hats and red lispick. I demand an apology!

(really people get a grip! Aren't you being a bit petty and overreacting? What's next? Dog owners suing Walt Disney studios because "Goofy" makes their dogs look stupid?")
09:37 September 28, 2011 by tonylaz
Racism is simply a preference for one's own group, be that family, neighborhood, ethnic similarity, nation, or whatever. If you love Sweden above others, you're racist. If you hold your family dearer than others, you're racist. Get off this racist baloney.

Should Fazer bow to this idiotic demand. their product brand is unworthy of purchase.
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