“E-Raced?” Nissin Accused of “White-Washing” Naomi Osaka
January 31, 2019 | 1633 Visits
Nissin, a company known for their ramen noodles, found themselves in hot water recently.
The company recently pulled their “Hungry to Win” ad featuring anime versions of tennis stars Naomi Osaka and KeiNishikori. The ad, which is based on the anime The Prince of Tennisby Takeshi Konomi, features Osaka and Nishikori in an epic tennis game.
While featuring the stars in the ads make sense—Nissin sponsors both athletes and Osaka is a brand ambassador—the issue lies in how Nissin lightened Osaka’s hair and skin to make her look almost Caucasian instead of embracing her Haitian-Japanese background. Because of her portrayal as a pale-skinned athlete in the ad, fans of Osaka and the media have accused Nissin of whitewashing.
Once Nissin was called out for their alleged insensitivity, Nissin Foods spokesman Daisuke Okabayashi said the company did not mean to be disrespectful and has since pulled the ads from their website. The videos have also been removed from YouTube at the request of IMG, Osaka’s agency.
“There is no intention of whitewashing,” Okabayashi told CNN. “We accept that we are not sensitive enough and will pay more attention to diversity issues in the future.”
When asked about the issue, Osaka said, “I’ve talked to them and they’ve apologized… I don’t think they did it on purpose to be, like, whitewashing or anything, but I definitely think that next time that they try to portray me or something, I feel they should talk to me about it.”
Osaka also added that she’s “tan. That’s pretty obvious.”
This latest controversy brings up more about the debate of “otherness” in Japan, where people of different ethnicities or mixed race often face issues with acceptance. In Osaka’s case, the debate exists over whether she is Japanese, Haitian, or American, so issues of her background often overshadow her accomplishments on the tennis court.
Whether the ad was intentionally whitewashed or not, it does bring up the debate of how race defines a person. In Osaka’s case, there is a preference to be defined by her character, not her race. Even so, it’s important to portray people as they are instead of some “ideal.”
The K-Pop boy band sphere is quite diverse, especially with the numerous entertainment agencies that have sprung up to battle giant agencies in a battle for a market share in the entertainment industry. Apart from famous boy bands such as... Read More
Blackpink, Red Velvet, Mamamoo, and Aespa are some of the most renown K-Pop girl groups. Nonetheless, there exists an endless list of girl groups who are as talented, if only they received the deserved support and spotlight. Below are some of... Read More
People come from different worlds in terms of culture and race as well as political and financial status among others. Consequentially. Some people are born with a silver spoon while others have to work to earn their living. Before rise to... Read More
Essentials constitute of intrinsic elements that are fundamental in various aspects and purposes. K-Pop essentials for fans showcase the fandoms’ unwavering support towards their bias idols. While there exists a variety of K-Pop... Read More
Leadership is all about inclusiveness, integrity, and insight. It is not about power, rank, or privilege, but responsibility and vision. There are and have been many leaders amongst the K-Pop sphere, but the following individuals have raised... Read More
The “till death do us part” road down the aisle is a dream for many people, including K-Pop idols. K-Pop idols are increasingly shying away from officially making commitments to their other halves in fear of uproar from fans as it used to... Read More
Program Title: Find Homes! (Where is my house) Channel: MBC Air Date & Time: Sunday, 10:45 pm Viewer rating 3.4% (Nielsen Korea 2023.01.15.(Sun)) Related spin-off “Change Homes!” Starring Kim Sook, Park Na-rae, Boom, Yang... Read More
The craze for K-pop is expected to continue this year as well. The music industry has been experiencing a comeback rush since the New Year. Rookie New Jeans heated up the K-pop market from the beginning of the New Year with their new song... Read More
The world’s largest IT and consumer electronics exhibition ‘CES 2023’, which opened in Las Vegas on the 5th (local time), ended successfully on the 8th. About 3,200 companies from 174 countries participated in CES 2023,... Read More
As the new year rolls in, it’s important you know which dramas you’ll need to keep an eye out for! Here are ten amazing dramas coming out this year. Doona! (Netflix) Starring: Suzy, Yang Se-jong Release: 2023 Synopsis: Doona! is a romance... Read More