Bosses at Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand have pulled their Geisha Chic bronzer following complains on social media.
The item, released as part of a new collection, prompted fans to point out that the name is politically incorrect and insensitive in Japanese culture, noting that historically, Geisha’s are women who devote their lives to entertaining through performance art while wearing distinct costumes and makeup.
The launch prompted a flood of online comments from those who found the title offensive.
“@fentybeauty has a new highlighter named ‘geisha chic…’ ummmm? Rihanna… explain why Asian targeted racism gets glossed over, it feels even worse when it’s from another marginalized group,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Geisha chic? For a brand that wants to be all #woke and inclusive it’s… yikes,” another shared on Instagram.
The reaction did not go unnoticed by Fenty officials and on Sunday, March 31, a Reddit user shared a screenshot of an exchange with a representative for the brand that took place though Instagram’s direct messages, revealing the product had been pulled ahead of a renaming.
“We hear you, we’ve pulled the product until it can be renamed,” read the Fenty representatives message on the photo sharing site. “We wanted to personally apologize. Thank you so much for educating us.”
An official announcement was made on Fenty Beauty’s Instagram account.
“Due to the feedback on this post @fentybeauty has decided to completely remove this shade from online and in stores until further notice,” it read. “We will keep u updated! We appreciate Fenty Beauty’s responsiveness to this matter and applaud the continuous evolution of this amazing beauty community.”
The news prompted mixed reactions, with some continuing to express their outrage.
“Rihanna was really about to bring out a blush called geisha chic,” a Twitter user remarked. “thank god people noticed how gross that was and fenty delayed the launch to rename it. Really weird how the entire fenty beauty team didn’t catch how inappropriate that name is from the start.”