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Prada Pulls Racist Product After Accusations Of Blackface

Luxury fashion brand Prada has been forced to apologise for its racist cartoon characters, while outright denying the images used blackface imagery.

The Pradamalia line -- a series of keychains, earrings, and necklace charms featuring "mysterious tiny creatures that are one part biological, one part technological" -- came under fire for one of its characters, a monkey-like creature with black skin and oversized red lips.

The cartoon character attached to a Prada bag. Photo: Chinyere Ezie / Twitter.

Civil rights lawyer Chinyere Ezie noted that it was shockingly similar to the "same racist and denigrating imagery" on display at the Smithsonian's blackface exhibit.

"I don't make a lot of public posts, but right now I'm shaking with anger," she wrote on Facebook.

"I entered the store with a coworker, only to be assaulted with more and more bewildering examples of their Sambo-like imagery.

"History cannot continue to repeat itself. Black America deserves better. And we demand better."

She posted photos, showing the Prada character side-by-side with blackface images from the Smithsonian.

Photo: Chinyere Ezie / Facebook.
Photo: Chinyere Ezie / Facebook.

Her post was shared almost 10,000 times in a day, and #BoycottPrada began trending online.

After global outrage to their cartoon, Prada released a statement announcing it abhorred racism and would be pulling the product, but notably did not apologise for the error.

"Prada group abhors racist imagery," it said.

"The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and are certainly not blackface.

"Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation."

READ MORE: Why Does Australia Have A Racist Cartoon Problem?

READ MORE: Drake Speaks Out On Controversial Blackface Photo

The statement has been met with further criticism, with people calling out the luxury brand for failing to see the racist imagery in the first place.

However, Ezie has celebrated the win, posting a photo of Prada's covered shop window and their statement to Facebook with the caption: "Power to the people."

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au

Lead photo: Chinyere Ezie