The mother of the children featured in Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has spoken out following its racist backlash.
The supermarket released the first of its three festive adverts last week, showing home video footage of a Black family celebrating Christmas while a conversation between the father and daughter plays out in the background.
Sainsbury’s became a target for racist comments following the release of the advert, which is titled Gravy Song, with trolls claiming it wasn’t inclusive or representative of their view of Christmas. Some people have claimed they will stop shopping at Sainsbury’s because of the ad.
Other adverts in the series, titled Perfect Portions and Big Sarnie, feature clips of other families.
Natasha Mushonga, mum of 11-year-old Malakhai and eight-year-old Shannel, who both feature in the Gravy Song advert, has since responded to the critics to say the racist comments are ‘sad and unnecessary’, Yahoo! News reports.
It hurts that people think that the colour of your skin determines what type of Christmas you should have. There are three adverts to show diversity but you can’t win with these people. I don’t think they wanted it to be about colour diversity. If the advert of another race makes you not want to shop there, well okay then, bye.
It’s racism so you learn to live with it. People should learn to love each other. I feel bad for them that they actually have the time to sit on a computer and post that about an advert.
The mother said that Shannel doesn’t know about the comments, but Malakhai is in secondary school and has the facilities to search for the advert. She said that the 11-year-old is ‘not bothered in the slightest’ because she made an effort to ‘prepare them well for what they have to see out there’.
It’s obviously ridiculous for people to criticise adverts. It’s unfair for the people in it to come to abuse. But you can’t cure racism – you just have to get on with your life. And you have to celebrate the people [who] are willing to be inclusive, like Sainsbury’s. People say racism doesn’t exist, but if you are on the other side you don’t see that.
Sainsburys has issued a response to the trolls in which it made clear that it intended to be ‘the most inclusive retailer’ by representing a ‘modern Britain, which has a diverse range of communities’.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk