A city centre homeware store has been slammed for selling a range of racially offensive dolls.
At Home, located in the former Next store on the Murraygate, had a range of golliwog dolls on display on a prominent stand near the cashier’s desk.
Several versions of the doll were available to buy when the Tele made the first of several visits in an attempt to speak to the store owner.
The items were swiftly removed from the shop floor during our first visit.
The dolls, which have red lips, eyes rimmed in white, and frizzy hair, have been used as a racist caricature of black people since they were created by Florence Upton in 1895.
Lynne Short, city development convener and councillor for the Maryfield Ward, said: “I am astounded.
“Dundee is a city that has moved with the times, and quite rightly so.”
“To see such an offensive item on sale beggars belief.”
On our first visit, a worker employed by the business said the owner of the store would be on the premises in the afternoon.
He also said he had reservations about the sale of the dolls, going as far as to say he thought they were “banned” in the UK.
The worker insisted he had raised the issue with the owner previously. He said the owner justified the sale of the dolls due to the fact they carried the internationally recognised CE mark.
The mark is typically used to indicate a product has been manufactured to comply with rigorous EU safety standards.
He also said that if a customer voiced offence to the sale of the dolls he would apologise and remove them from the store.
At this point in our conversation he removed all of the available dolls from the shop floor.
On a second visit to the store another worker said the owner was on holiday for two weeks and would be uncontactable in the meantime.
A spokeswoman for the anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card said: “We are very disappointed that a shop in Dundee is selling golliwog dolls. The sale of these dolls perpetuate racism, as they hark back to a time when the mockery and stereotyping of black people was considered a social norm, rendering black people as submissive and lesser.”
Golliwog dolls first appeared in 1895 and were created by cartoonist and author Florence Upton.
The idea came about after she moved to England and illustrated a book, The Adventure of Two Dutch Dolls And A Golliwogg to be able to afford to go to art school.
The book was for children and the character, Golliwogg, looked scary but was a positive character.
Golliwogg was inspired by blackface minstrels and had black skin, red lips and frizzy hair. The character was eventually used on the jars of marmalade by company Robertsons and first appeared in 1910 before being removed in 2001 and replaced with Roald Dahl stories.
In 2007, two golliwog dolls were seized from a shop by Greater Manchester Police after a complaint was made that they were offensive.
Then, in 2009, celebrity Carol Thatcher received criticism for an off-air conversation referring to a French tennis player as “looking like a golliwog”.
A YouGov poll in 2018 – which surveyed 1,660 people and asked them if they thought it was racist to sell or display a golliwog – revealed that 63% said no and 20% said yes, with 17% saying they did not know.
The survey came after a shopkeeper in Derbyshire continued to sell the golliwogs after claiming they were not racist.