Scottish tanning salon criticised for sharing pictures of 'racist doll' to promote business

Shine Tanning Salons in Glasgow repeatedly posted images of the doll, notorious for portraying black people in an offensive manner, on their social media. Picture: Google Maps
Shine Tanning Salons in Glasgow repeatedly posted images of the doll, notorious for portraying black people in an offensive manner, on their social media. Picture: Google Maps
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A tanning salon has been slammed for sharing pictures of a "racist" golliwog doll to promote its business.

Shine Tanning Salons in Glasgow repeatedly posted images of the doll, notorious for portraying black people in an offensive manner, on their social media.

Images of the doll first appeared on the salon's Facebook accounts on Saturday (October 12).

One picture showed the doll in a coffee shop with an empty cup alongside the caption "wee black double espresso" with two monkey emojis.

A third image had the doll, which the owner has called "Sooty", laid back on a tanning bed with the caption "#black2white" - in reference to the white2black tanning lotion beside the figure.

Golliwogs - or golly dolls - originated from a character created by children's author Florence Kate Upton in the 19th century.

The black-skinned dolls, featuring exaggerated lips, frizzy hair and paws instead of hands, have become the subject of controversy over the years.

The tanning salon apologised for the posts and admitted they were "ill-thought" and a "lazy attempt at humour".

Anti-racism charity Show Racism The Red Card Scotland condemned the sharing of the "horrid" item.

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Jordan Allison, the charity's campaign manager, said: "We stand with the rest of society who fully condemn these horrid items that serve only as offensive reminders of anti-Black racism.

"Education remains key in ensuring these are consigned to history.

"As anti-racist campaigners, we regularly work alongside Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland who are both very proactive in dealing with issues like these appropriately."

Local councillor Archie Graham said: "I am shocked and dismayed to see these images.

"This is a timely reminder that we need to be vigilant and expose such disgusting behaviour whenever and wherever it occurs."

This is not the first time the dolls have caused controversy in the city.

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Last year, Cancer Research UK's Victoria Road branch came in for criticism for having one of the figures on sale.

A spokeswoman for Shine Tanning Salons said: "First of all, Shine Tanning Salon would like to apologise to anyone who was offended by our recent social media posts.

"Causing offence was never our intention.

"We make no attempt to condone the posts, which we accept were ill-thought.

"Shine Tanning Salon is a multi-culture salon, owned by a family with Kenyan and Indian heritage, so is very aware of the affects of racism, and casual racism, in society.

"Again, we can only reiterate that this was never our intention; it was a lazy attempt at humour, which we accept has caused people offence.

"Shine Tanning Salon is very active in the local community, helping local residents back to work, and donating to charity; having donated 3 figure sums to SAMH and Breast Cancer Now this year already.

"We hope that the Glasgow public, and wider audience who were offended by our posts will accept our apology; again, we make no excuses.

"We will not try to pass blame to an unpaid intern or claim to be hacked.

"It was an error of judgement by a staff member.

"We made an error, and we can only try to make up for it.

"We will be reaching out to relevant charities and organisations to seek literature to hand out to staff in relation to the effects racism can have, and we will also be reviewing our social media policies.

"Shine Tanning Salon will also be donating 20% of profits from the remainder of October to a relevant charity.

"Whilst this by no means makes up for our actions, we hope that it goes a small way towards everyone affected accepting our apology."