October 20, 2014
BANGKOK (AP) - A leading human rights group has called on Dunkin' Donuts to withdraw a "bizarre and racist" advertisement for chocolate doughnuts that shows a smiling woman in blackface makeup.
The Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Thailand launched a campaign earlier this month for its new "Charcoal Donut," featuring an image reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols of a racist era.
Human Rights Watch said Friday that it was shocked to see an American brand name running an advertising campaign that would draw "howls of outrage" if released in the United States.
Dunkin' Donuts' CEO in Thailand, Nadim Salhani, dismissed the criticism as "paranoid American thinking" and called it "absolutely ridiculous."
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