Johnson & Johnson to discontinue skin whitening line in Asia after BLM backlash

Johnson & Johnson [NYSE: JNJ], an American multinational corporation selling pharmaceutical and personal care products, is ending their skin-whitening products popular in Asia and the Middle East following the global debate about Black Lives Matter and racial inequality, the company said last week.

“Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our Neutrogena and Clean & Clear dark-spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” the company said, “This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.”

The product, the Clean & Clear Fairness and Neutrogena Fine Fairness lines, are sold exclusively in Asia and the Middle East under the brands Clean & Clear and Neutrogena and not available in the United States.

This decision came following the strong backlash that the company faced over the past weeks over Johnson & Johnson’s promotion of lighter skin.

This backlash has extended to their competitors Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, and L’Oreal, which are also under fire for their whitening creams that are marketed primarily for women.

About 6,277 tonnes of skin lightener were sold worldwide last year, according to Euromonitor International, including products marketed as anti-aging creams targeting dark spots or freckles.

Johnson & Johnson said they will soon update their website to reflect the changes, and that while the product lines may still be available in stores for a little longer, they have decided to stop producing and shipping the products.

Whitening creams account for half of the $320 million the Thai market for facial creams, according to research firm Nielsen.

Johnson & Johnson Thailand told Thai Enquirer it would not comment on the issue.

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