"My brain during the day: Potato, potato, ching chong tomato."
Tarte Cosmetics has been slammed after sharing a racist meme originally posted by Kardashian makeup artist Hrush Achemyan.
Bustle reports that the racist meme was originally posted on Instagram but has since been deleted. The publication adds that the meme also targeted people with intellectual disabilities.
“My brain during the day: Potato, potato, ching chong tomato,” the meme read. According to Bustle, the statement is commonly used on social media to imply that a person does not have common sense. The meme originates from The Ringer‘s ‘I can count to potato’ scene, which Bustle states became a negative Asian reference.
Revelist reports that the meme was originally posted by Kardashian makeup artist Hrush Achemyan, who is also a Tarte collaborator.
Allure editor-in-chief Michelle Lee publicly slammed the cosmetics company to remove their post.
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
— Michelle Lee (@heymichellelee) September 16, 2017
Tarte Cosmetics instantly responded via a post on Instagram written by Maureen Kelly, CEO & Founder of Tarte.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry and embarrassed,” Maureen wrote. “Yesterday, we made a mistake by sharing an insensitive meme with a racist term. There is NO e=EXCUSE for using any type of racial slur regardless of the context.”
“We understand that this ignorance has caused us to lose loyal fans and we completely understand. I take full responsibility, and we thank you all for helping us educate our team and each other. Sincerely, Maureen, CEO & founder of tarte.”
The apology was also captioned with, “what saddens us even more is seeing our community turn against each other in the comments with hateful & negative language, which is why we’ve disabled them for this post.”
“Let’s work together to start a more positive conversation. Change starts with us.”
Kelly also issued a statement Bustle, saying, “We’re not taking this social misstep lightly — beyond our sincerest apologies, we’re using it as a learning opportunity not only for our team, but our entire social community. There’s never an excuse to use an inappropriate term.”
After reaching out to Achemyan for a statement too, Bustle received an email from her representatives: “To all of my fans and everyone who saw and was affected by my Instagram post, I sincerely apologize for the insensitive and ignorant nature of it. I in no way intended to use a racial slur and never want to promote hatred or racism.”
“I’m a firm believer in diversity and stand by people from all different walks of life. I’m blessed to have fans across the world and always strive to show my love for all of you.
“I take full responsibility for the post and will do much better in the future. Thank you for your unconditional love and support!”
Nonetheless, Twitter users were still not satisfied with Tarte’s post.
“Would these girls still say that “the racist term that Tarte used isn’t offensive” if they knew the experience and sentiment associated w/it [sic],” Rei L Tweeted.
Judy Lee wrote, “Yall defending tarte saying “chin chong” is just a word dafak? No shit, Sherlock. But it’s a RACIST word used to insult/make fun of Asians. [sic]”
“The drama with Tarte shows how white people are quick to dismiss racism on behalf of POC but get personally offended at being called racist,” declared Mai.
Yall defending tarte saying "chin chong" is just a word dafak? No shit, Sherlock. But it's a RACIST word used to insult/make fun of Asians.
— Judyliciouslee (@JudyLee1987) September 17, 2017
Would these girls still say that "the racist term that Tarte used isn't offensive" if they knew the experience and sentiment associated w/it
— Rei L (@amarori) September 18, 2017
The drama with Tarte shows how white people are quick to dismiss racism on behalf of POC but get personally offended at being called racist
— Mai (@Maimaimaiii) September 17, 2017