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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Jan 23 2017 12:38:11

Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog

By: Ina Steiner
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A seller added a racist image to Amazon's catalog for a Hasbro toy. We've sent an inquiry to Amazon requesting comment.

The "parent" page for the Hasbro Pie Face Game is listed with several photos and a video created by Hasbro. But sellers can also add what's called "child" variations. Amazon explains: "Similar products that vary according to defined variation theme, such as color or size, share a parent/child relationship."

Under Package Quantity, click on any of the quantity variations to see the offensive image, such as this one.


Note that the Hasbro Pie Face Game appears in the Home and Kitchen category rather than the Toys and Games category, so Hasbro probably didn't create the original product page. 

Other sellers have leeway in changing catalog information for product pages - something that irritates many sellers when their colleagues add incorrect information or add photographs that detract from the product.

The sellers who listed under the variation in this case are at risk of customer ire if shoppers don't realize the image was likely changed after the sellers posted. 

Amazon is already cracking down on sellers in a variety of ways since last summer. This sort of behavior may result in Amazon restricting sellers further. And it is bound to elevate concerns from brands that are leery of the risks of selling on Amazon and of having unauthorized sellers listing their items.

Amazon sellers are welcome to weigh in with their thoughts about how this happened, how it can be prevented from happening in the future, and of course we'll update this post if/when Amazon responds.



Comments (30) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy
       
Mon Jan 23 12:51:13 2017
Why is the image "racist"?

Would it still be racist if the artist used a brown marker?
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Mon Jan 23 13:23:33 2017
Immorally legitimized by authority - the new 'normal' for a certain base.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jan 23 16:57:56 2017
People need to grow up....
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Mon Jan 23 17:09:18 2017
I'm not sure why there are differences in the box art when they decided to portray African Americans.  The two pics are not mirror images with the exception of the skin tone.  There are other subtle differences that I'm not sure why they did that.

Why are their flakes of the same color as the skin color coming off their clothing as well as on the front of the boy's shirt.  And why does the sleeve of the boy's shirt appear to have holes.   What purpose is the flakes or whatever they are in the name graphics on the box as well.  None of the flakes appear on the other box anywhere.

Humm, I don't know that I'd agree this is racist, but one would think that a company as large as Hasbro could do a much better job than this.  
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Mon Jan 23 17:11:41 2017
Marie, the image as depicted is calleed Black Face.

Look it up.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Mon Jan 23 18:14:56 2017
No need to be rude.  I didn't take it that way, but I do see your point.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Mon Jan 23 18:55:33 2017
It's amateurish (as in home made) and racially motivated black face.

THAT's what rude and far worse, Marie.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Mon Jan 23 23:20:38 2017
I thought the photo on the left showed the people after being hit by chocolate pies (which would explain the color spots on the clothes noted by Marie).  
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Jan 24 13:02:40 2017

Just because there are 2 kids depicted as Caucasian it is not racist.

Grow up people!!
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit
       
Tue Jan 24 13:21:56 2017
Seems like anything nowadays can be misinterpreted and made racist.

Here in the north we have to watch out for whiteouts and black ice.

Yes, I am talking about the weather. Nothing more and nothing less but I am sure this simple statement could be misconstrued.

People are making themselves crazy reading into everything.  
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Ina
       
Tue Jan 24 15:22:17 2017
I'm wondering if some people missed the fact that this was not a graphic that Hasbro created.

Someone took the graphic of a toy for children, altered the image to show the white people wearing "black face," and uploaded it to a listing on Amazon.

Apart from the intention to be offensive and hurtful, this possibly harmed the reputation of Hasbro, Amazon, and the sellers listing the toy who were unaware the image had been swapped out.

To be clear, there is no Pie Face toy where the packaging depicts African Americans.

The listing was sabotaged, and sellers better understand what's at risk if they sell on Amazon.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Tue Jan 24 15:54:57 2017
On further reflection of this picture and the potential impact it could have, I firmly believe Ina is right on this.  I realize at first I didn't see what she did and others here.  But it is clear to me now that this is wrong and Amazon needs to step up and take care of this.

Amazon may be able to tell who uploaded the pic, IDK, but they certainly should investigate and take appropriate action.

Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Wed Jan 25 00:45:31 2017
As soon as I saw that picture I could tell it wasn't a real photo but someone do a real bad version 'black face'. It seems to be just black scribbles on the front of the package and certainly not anything of the quality that Hasbro would produce. Stupid idiot that did this.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: VV
       
Wed Jan 25 07:47:02 2017
No one has a right to not be offended.  

Especially in this case.  If you look hard enough you can be 'offended' by anything.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
by: Golddustwoman This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jan 25 09:29:58 2017
That's NOT a racist image. Things are getting too out of hand.
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
by: epuise This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jan 25 09:31:51 2017
Chocolate pies are now 'racist' ?
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Ina
       
Wed Jan 25 11:17:34 2017
You list a Pie Face game with the correct image of the box showing a white family.

Someone else switches the image on your listing to show a black family.

A buyer buys the item, gets it, and sees the product packaging features a white family.

That's a SNAD, and you as the seller are on the hook.

Now ask yourself, why would another seller upload that incorrect image?
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jan 25 11:19:49 2017
The image is not ONLY of a thrown chocolate pie as some here seem to think. For those that think that, look carefully at the lips on both images. A thrown chocolate pie would not magically create the fuller lips seen on the homemade image.

Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: Bob
       
Wed Jan 25 11:59:45 2017
This is B.S. Who gets to decide what is ''racist''.
It's obviously a chocolate pie on the table.  It's chocolate on their faces and hands, it's chocolate on their clothing.
Get a life people.  
Perminate Link for Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog   Racist Image Added to Toy Page in Amazon Catalog
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Wed Jan 25 12:00:35 2017
@cillianred - There are no lips on the people in the left photo. What you're seeing is the inside of their mouths, in red. Please note that the inside of the mouths of the people in the right photo is brown, and they also do not have lips.  
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