A make-up company has issued an apology after being criticised for selling a product named after Anne Frank.
Woke Up Like This (WULT), a beauty brand based in Hong Kong, recently released a range of liquid blushes called the “Face Dab” collection.
According to an article published in Time Out Hong Kong – which has since been taken down – the aim of the collection was to “promote Sexual Health Awareness Month by naming the products after inspiring, famous women in hopes to inspire WULT customers to live their dreams and break through gender barriers”, Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner reported.
The range features blushes named after well-known female figures, with the “Viva La Frida” blush being named after artist Frida Kahlo, “In Woolf’s Words” being named after writer Virginia Woolf, “Lift Like Melinda” being named after philanthropist Melinda Gates, and “The Ray of Rosalind” taking its name from chemist Rosalind Franklin.
Another blush in the range, which has since been dropped from the collection, was called “Dream Like Anne”, after Anne Frank.
Anne Frank was a German, Jewish teenager who died in the Holocaust when she was 15 years old.
Her story became known across the world following the posthumous publication of her diary, which she wrote between 1942 and 1944 while in hiding during the Second World War.
Author Ben Freeman described the decision to name a cosmetic product after Anne Frank as “revolting”, while also criticising Time Out Hong Kong for featuring it in an article.
“Naming a shade of blush after Anne Frank, who was a victim of genocide is revolting,” he tweeted.
“Dead Jews are not a marketing opportunity.”
Naming a shade of blush after Anne Frank, who was a victim of genocide is revolting.
— Ben M. Freeman (@BenMFreeman) September 16, 2020
In response to Freeman’s tweet, journalist Claire Coleman wrote: “WTAF!? I am just STAGGERED that at no point in the creative process did anyone on the Woke Up Like This team, or ANY of the other hundreds of people involved say ‘ummm guys, this might not be appropriate’.”
In a statement sent to Metro.co.uk, WULT said the company was “extremely sorry that paying tribute to her in this way appears to have caused offence and is considered disrespectful”.
“Our intention was quite the reverse, to bring positive energy and shine a little light through unprecedented testing times during the global pandemic,” the firm stated.
“We sincerely apologise for any miscommunication and ‘Dream Like Anne’ is therefore officially withdrawn from our online store with immediate effect.”
Time Out Hong Kong also issued an apology for featuring the blush named after Anne Frank in an article.
In a statement sent to The Independent, Time Out Hong Kong said: “We are deeply sorry for the insensitivity caused by covering this product in our article, which we have since removed from our Hong Kong website.
“We are committed to empowering and uplifting people of all races, religions, sexual orientations and backgrounds, and this article did not meet the high standards of respect and sensitivity we expect from our coverage.”
The Independent has contacted WULT for comment.
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