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Outrage over shocking detergent commercial
01:31 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Commercial has been criticized for being racist

It shows a black man undergoing a wash and transforming into a Chinese man

CNN  — 

A Chinese firm is apologizing after its racist ad went viral.

The laundry detergent advertisement depicts a light-skinned Chinese woman throwing a black man covered in paint into a washing machine after a bit of flirting. After undergoing a wash, the man emerges as a light-skinned, clean Chinese man.

Qiaobi, the company behind the ad, issued an apology – but said the international media is exaggerating the reaction.

“[Due to] the harm that has been caused to members of the ethnic African communities as a result of the advertisement’s circulation and the over-dramatization by the public opinion, we hereby express our apology and sincerely hope that the internet users as well as media will not over-analyze,” the company said in a statement. “We strongly oppose and condemn racial discrimination.”

The company also said it has removed traces of the ad online and hopes “that internet users and media will not continue to circulate it.”

Since being posted on YouTube by an independent person Thursday, the ad has nearly 7 million views.