Prada store

Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images/Sipa USA

Prada Apologizes for Its Red-Lipped Monkey Figurines after Racism Charges

December 14, 2018
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By Erin Thibeau

Prada has pulled one of its products – a monkey figurine with thick red lips that evokes the racist imagery of "Black Sambo" – following accusations of racism.

The figurine, a charm that can be attached to a keychain or handbag, looks eerily like Sambo, a pre-civil rights movement "caricature of a black boy who was made to appear practically sub-human, was usually drawn with dark brown or black skin and bright red protruding lips," as Quartz reported.

The luxury fashion brand released the $550 figurine a few weeks ago as part of its Pradamalia line of "mysterious creatures."

Chinyere Ezie, a staff attorney at Center for Constitutional Rights, called attention to the display in a Prada store in New York City in a Facebook post:

Prada apologized on Friday, saying the brand "never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery."

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