Consumer-products giant Hindustan Unilever on Thursday said it would drop the word “fair” from the name of its skin lightening cream “Fair & Lovely” and will rebrand it, Reuters reported. The company has been widely criticised for using racist imagery and promoting negative stereotypes related to darker skin tones.
In a statement, the company said the new name of the cream has been decided and is awaiting regulatory approvals.
“We are making our skin care portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” Sanjiv Mehta, chairperson and managing director of Hindustan Unilever, told Business Standard. “In 2019, we removed the cameo with two faces as well as the shade guides from the packaging of Fair & Lovely and the brand communication progressed from fairness to glow, which is a more holistic and inclusive measure of healthy skin. These changes were very well received by our consumers.”
The announcement came days after Johnson & Johnson said it will stop the sale of certain skin lightening creams, Money Control reported. The product line includes the Neutrogena Fine Fairness and Clear Fairness by Clean & Clear, which are sold only in India and West Asia.
The decision was a response to the anti-racism demonstrations that have been held across the United States since the death of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed when a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.