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The black woman featured in the Dove soap ad decried across social media as “racist” said Tuesday that she is “not a victim.”
Lola Ogunyemi said that she had a positive experience creating the ad with the Dove team in an op-ed for The Guardian.
“If I had even the slightest inclination that I would be portrayed as inferior, or as the ‘before’ in a before and after shot, I would have been the first to say an emphatic ‘no,’” Ogunyemi said. “I would have (un)happily walked right off set and out of the door. That is something that goes against everything I stand for.”
“However, the experience I had with the Dove team was positive,” she continued. “I had an amazing time on set. All of the women in the shoot understood the concept and overarching objective – to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness.”
Some opponents of the ad, which featured a black woman turning into a white woman, who proceeded to turn into an Asian woman, omitted the last model, giving it a more prominent racial implication.
Ogunyemi noted that Dove released a 13-second Facebook ad, as well as a 30-second TV commercial. Unlike the online ad, the TV version featured seven models.
Ogunyemi said that, while she felt the public was “justified in their initial outrage,” she believes consumers missed context with which they could have better understood the ad.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Dove for comment, but received none in time for publication.
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