Big Boi posted a photo of the toys—referred to as golliwogs—on his Twitter page last Thursday (August 25), that left many people in anger. [See above]
“Ok, all blacks is a rugby team, but what the ****are these,” he wrote before showing the image to his followers.
“Throw them in the bin with the person selling them,” one person tweeted back in response. “Burn the racist airport down,” another comment read.
Following the OutKast rapper’s statements, local paper, the New Zealand Herald contacted Airport management, who had the dolls removed.
“Once we were made aware, the retailer was immediately asked to remove the product from sale,” said Airport Corporate Relations Manager, Richard Llewellyn.
Llewellyn stated that although he didn’t get to speak to the Atlanta-bred rap star it was understood by the store staff that the dolls could be viewed as insulting.
“In this case we acknowledge that this is a product widely regarded as inappropriate,” Llewellyn said, “We apologize for any offence caused as a result of this product being on sale at the airport.”
Golliwogs were first introduced in the 1940s in children’s books by author, Florence Kate Upton, as a sort of caricature of an American Black minstrel figure. However, by the 1960s they began being associated with the insulting racial slur “wog,” and the books, deemed “racially insensitive,” were eventually withdrawn from libraries. Yet in some countries the dolls can still be found, as evident in this case.
Although shocked by the incident, Big Boi tweeted that he didn’t have any hard feelings towards the country.
“Despite the Golliwoggs, New Zealanders are cool as **** (sic),” he wrote. —Ralph Bristout