'It was an isolated incident': Dis-Chem apologises for black face mannequin

21 February 2020 - 18:02 By Toni Jaye Singer
This 'African-themed' display was photographed at the Dis-Chem store in Killarney Mall, Johannesburg, on February 21 2020.
This 'African-themed' display was photographed at the Dis-Chem store in Killarney Mall, Johannesburg, on February 21 2020.
Image: Staff reporter

Dis-Chem has issued an apology for the black face mannequin which appeared as part of an “unauthorised” display promoting the brand's beauty fair in its Killarney Mall, Johannesburg, branch on Friday morning.

Our annual beauty fair promotion is a celebration of South African beauty. We strongly condemn any kind of affiliation with blackface. This goes against everything that we stand for as a brand and as a company,” said the pharmacy chain on Twitter.

“We sincerely apologise, this is an ongoing investigation but we can confirm so far our initial investigation shows that this was an isolated incident with no malice or disrespect intended.”

Photographs of the white mannequin with its face tinted to give it a black face appearance sparked outrage on social media. It had been dressed in cultural attire, was holding a broom, and was positioned alongside a rondavel and an array of African kitchenware.

When Business Insider SA visited the branch on Friday afternoon the display had been disassembled, however they reported that evidence of it could still be seen throughout the store.