Amazon Pulls Racially Insensitive Skin-Lightening Products

CBS News
November 22, 2019 - 1:48 pm
Getty

Getty

Categories: 

E-commerce giant Amazon.com has pulled more than a dozen skin-lightening products with dangerous mercury levels off its website after pushback from Minnesota health and environmental activists.

The Seattle-based company's change came after the BeautyWell Project and the Sierra Club's state branch delivered a petition on Wednesday with more than 23,000 signatures to Amazon's fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota.

The two organizations also took out a full-page ad in a local newspaper that day demanding that Amazon stop selling toxic skin-lightening creams. The ad had three words in bold print—"Dangerous, racist, and illegal." 

An Amazon spokesperson told Minnesota Public Radio News in an email Thursday that such products are "no longer available."

As of Thursday, all but one of the 15 products with high mercury levels appeared to be removed from Amazon's website.

It's the latest incidents where Amazon removed products from its site that some found offensive. Earlier this year, Amazon pulled doormats bath mats that features phrases from the Quran. 

In June, a study found that face-recognition technology that Amazon was marketing for law enforcement purposes had a racial and gender bias.