NESTLE yesterday took the unprecedented step of complaining that its own product was racist, after seeing the publicity other companies got when accused of racism.
Company spokeswoman, Candy Crush, told reporters she was “deeply sorry” no-one had been offended by their raspberry-flavoured Redskin confectionery.
“Because Redskins are only sold in Australia and New Zealand there has been no outrage from American Indians at all,” she said. “And for that, we are deeply sorry.”
It is believed anger about the iconic lolly’s name began last week – not among American Indians, who had never heard of the chewy sweet, but among staff in the company’s marketing department.
“Our team saw the national coverage Colonial Brewing got when they were accused of racism,” Ms Crush said. “It certainly triggered us. We were suddenly woke to the idea that our brand would be just as offensive if anyone was actually offended.
Ms Crush said Nestle executives hoped the Black Lives Matter movement would inspire a Red Lives Matter protest against their product, sparking a media frenzy.
But when Australians proved too sensible for that, the company decided it’s confectionary needed confected outrage.
“We take outrage over racism very seriously,” a stern Ms Crush told assembled media. “And so we thought, in the absence of any outrage, the only option left was for us was to be outraged at ourselves.”
Ms Crush said not everyone at Nestle was comfortable with the idea.
“Our chiefs had reservations,” she said.
“But our marketing team convinced them the product name was out of step with our values which are rooted in respect and boosting sales.”
Ms Crush said she didn’t know the background of why the Australian-made product had been given its name.
“I have no idea whether there were actual racial undertones or not,” she said. “But for the sake of the news, let’s just say there probably were because the one thing we can agree on is that everyone from the past was racist.
“I really want to emphasise that this is our moment of growth and respect and that we acknowledge our need to learn and to listen and to be on a journey and, you know, all that wokie stuff.”
Television and radio news bulletins all ran the story that Nestle was cancelling the Redskin name amid concerns it mocked Indian Americans.
The brand immediately started trending on twitter as people pledged to buy the company’s product in a show of support for the name.
“This decision to cancel the iconic Redskin brand acknowledges the need to ensure that nothing we do marginalises our friends, neighbours and colleagues – whilst taking full advantage of the incredible marketing opportunities presented by cancel culture,” Ms Crush said.
Packaging for the ‘Red Skins’ lollies previously featured a photo and cartoon of Native Americans, which were removed in the 1990s.
Ms Crush said a new product name would come later. “We want to soak up this moment first,” she said with a broad smile.