Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

Waitrose apologises for selling ‘racist’ chocolate ducklings after criticism

Waitrose has apologised for selling a dark chocolate Easter duckling that was labelled as “ugly” after suggestions it was racist.

The supermarket chain said it did not intend to “cause any offence” and it had replaced the £8 product with new labelling that removes the names.

Originally, the trio of Easter ducklings included milk and white chocolates called “crispy” and “fluffy” respectively, while the dark chocolate was labelled “ugly”.

One shopper, who posted a photo of the item online, said she overheard fellow customers saying “this is not right”, adding: “I agree, doesn’t look good at all. Thousands of other options…why ugly?”

However other people criticised those for suggesting the chocolate could be seen as racist, with one Twitter user saying: “If you want to fight real racism, please start with people, not innocent chocolate ducks.”

The names of the chocolates appear to have been inspired by the song The Ugly Duckling, from the fairytale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

The song is about a small, brown ugly duckling who is mocked and excluded by the other ducklings, but grows into a beautiful white swan.

The lyrics go: “There once was an ugly duckling, with feathers all stubby and brown, and the other birds said in so many words, get out of town.”

A Waitrose spokesman told Sky News: “We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offence.

“We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labelling and our ducklings are now back on sale.”

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