Publicity Stunt or Nah? ’Thick As A N-gga’ Nail Polish Creators Knew Names Were ‘A Bit Crazy,’ Went with It Anyway
Just after the H&M controversy has settled, another brand is under fire for racist products. This time, Italian beauty company Wycon has been thrust into the global spotlight for a new nail polish line that includes a black shade called, “Thick As a N—–.”
The controversy erupted after the company publicized its new Gel-On line of polish Wednesday, Jan. 17. The line featured names like “Dirty Talk” and “Lap Girl” and soon beauty gurus and others around the world took notice of the racist polish name.
“WOOOOOOOW!!!” wrote one Twitter user accompanied by the above screenshots of the polish. “Look at the name this Italian cosmetics company Wycon decided to use for their BLACK nail polish!⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️”
“So I guess Italian Cosmetic Firm, Wycon, wants to be cute too and name their darkest nail polish ‘THICK AS A NIGGA,’ another person tweeted.
“Another irrelevant brand using the inevitable outrage of individuals of color as a marketing technique to try and make themselves relevant,” said someone else.
The company acknowledged the backlash in its Instagram comments saying according to translations from Forbes that “They’re made-up names that are a bit crazy.”
Later, it explained the names derive from song titles, including a DBangz track called “Thick N—- And Anime Tiddies.”
“We’re sorry that this post has triggered these types of reactions: every color from our Gel-On collection is inspired, with a cheerful attitude and a pinch of naivety, by famous song titles, many of which derive from the landscape of hip hop,” it said. “For example “Drop it Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg, ‘Bootilicious’ [sic] by Beyoncé [sic], ‘Candy Shop’ by 50 Cent, ‘Lollipop,’ ‘Lady Marmalade’ etc… The reference here is ‘Thick Nigga’ [sic] by DBangz. Wycon is the brand for everybody #nobodyexcluded is our motto and we didn’t mean to offend anybody!”
But the brand seemed to have realized that explanation wasn’t enough and issued an official apology Monday, Jan. 22.
“We understand that people were offended about our unappropriate [sic] nail lacquer name choice and we feel deeply sorry,” the statement posted on social media said. “We are aware of our social and global responsibility as an international brand and we truly apologize for this incident.”
“We swear this won’t happen anymore,” Wycon added in the caption.
As of Tuesday, Jan. 23, it appears the shade’s name has been changed to “Black Power.”
Still, the apology did little to quell concerns.
“You’re not sorry. You’re apologizing because you got called out,” one said. “Goodbye 😒.”
“Y’all know damn well that s— wasn’t cool, where [sic] my discount at just like H&M,” another tweet read. “Y’all f—– up and it’s only the first month of the year.”
And the other responses were much the same.
ok but someone from your insta staff said yall wanted something “a little crazy” like you really did not know? also it took yall like a week to post this? come on pic.twitter.com/3FFGsbP7C0
— 🌹 (@mmarziapan) January 22, 2018
No one is checking for y’all that’s why y’all pulled this stunt. You really need the attention… looking at that nail polish I can see why.
— ™️ (@allysvinyl) January 22, 2018
words can’t express my frustration, you did this for publicity racism is normalized now a days a small company a public household name
— Instamoe1576 (@moediddy1576) January 22, 2018
Aware of our social and global responsibility we are deeply sorry for the incident. We strongly believe beauty has no gender, race or religion as already shown in our previous campaigns such as Holy Shake, Androgyny, Anané, Nude liquid lipstick Collection and so on. For this reason our claim is #NoOneExcluded We apologize and we swear this kind of error won’t happen anymore.
A post shared by •WYCON cosmetics Official • (@wycon_cosmetics) on