The Illamasqua makeup brand is coming under fire for presenting an ad as part of a holiday promotion that features a model painted black. The British company has defended what is being referred to as a ‘blackface’ image in the face of growing controversy, which began as soon as the firm posted the image to its Australian Facebook account.
The company received a backlash of complaints from users who immediately noted the resemblance of the ad’s styling to stereotyped portrayals of African-Americans from blackface minstrelsy.
In addition, the ad’s slogan — “Not Dreaming of a White Christmas” — underscored the racial undertone perceived in the company’s message by many. Most have been critical of the campaign.