Tarte Cosmetics Apologizes After Posting Racist Meme

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Tarte Cosmetics, a well-known, vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand, is in hot water after posting a meme on their Instagram page. It’s not just that the joke wasn’t funny, it’s that they’re now facing accusations of racism for their careless photo.

The meme was originally from Hrush Achemyan, who is a Kardashian makeup artist and stylist, and it began with the phrase, “My brain during the day: Potato, potato, ching chong tomato.” Not only is this just generally insulting, it’s also perpetuating a terrible stereotype about Asian people. Clearly, common sense was not used here before posting the pic, but the brand did take it down, despite negative reactions. Immediately, Twitter users chimed in, and Michelle Lee, the editor-in-chief of Allure, spoke up about the incident. Her thread of tweets about the situation is perfect.

1/ So, yesterday a makeup brand regrammed a meme with the phrase "ching chong" in it, deleted it & apologized–the right thing to do… pic.twitter.com/H6wlHloKWk

— Michelle Lee (@heymichellelee) September 17, 2017

The brand later posted an apology on their Instagram, and said that an intern was at fault for this.

That said, their apology wasn’t necessarily enough.

I dont accept Tarte's initial apology. Anyone who is not Chinese/Asian should not be accepting this apology on our behalf. It wasn't for you

— N O (@lisasbeautymark) September 17, 2017

Not sure where that leaves the brand, but for now people are not having it. Let’s just make this clear: racism is never funny. It’s never acceptable, but especially when coming from a big brand with a lot of influence and a major platform.

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