Time Out Magazine Criticized for Promoting ‘Disrespectful’ Makeup Named After Anne Frank
The Hong Kong division of Time Out magazine was lambasted by social media users on Wednesday for printing an article about a new makeup collection that included a product named after Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
The article, posted online on Wednesday afternoon by Time Out Hong Kong, is about the Hong Kong-based makeup brand Woke Up Like This (WULT) that launched a “Fab Dab” collection of liquid blushes to celebrate its first anniversary.
The new line “aims to promote Sexual Health Awareness Month by naming the products after inspiring, famous women in hopes to inspire WULT customers to live their dreams and break through gender barriers,” according to the article.
One item in the collection is named “Dream Like Anne” and is available for purchase on WULT’s website.
Jewish author Ben Freeman was one of the first to draw attention to the article on Twitter. He criticized the magazine and WULT, saying, “Naming a shade of blush after Anne Frank, who was a victim of genocide is revolting. Dead Jews are not a marketing opportunity. @timeouthk, shame on you for not noticing and for promoting this disrespect.”
Others attacked the publication for its “grossly insensitive” and “disgusting” endorsement of the makeup line, and accused the magazine and WULT of “poor taste” and “whitewashing what Anne Frank represents.”
One Twitter user called the whole ordeal “[h]orrendous, the product of either unforgiveable [sic] ignorance or a sick mind.”
In a statement to The Algemeiner on Wednesday, Time Out apologized for promoting the product. A spokesperson said, “We are deeply sorry for the insensitivity caused by covering this product in our article…We are committed to empowering and uplifting people of all races, religions, sexual orientations and backgrounds, and this article did not meet the high standards of respect and sensitivity we expect from our coverage.”
Time Out added an “editor’s note” to the article, saying, “We understand and recognize the insensitivities within this article, and that the inclusion of this product came across as disrespectful of Anne Frank and what she represents. We sincerely apologize for the distress that this piece has caused.”
However, as of press time, the magazine had not pulled the article or revised it to remove the Anne Frank mention.
WULT also issued an apology: “To those who were offended by the naming of the Face Dab – Dream Like Anne, we sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and misunderstanding this has caused. We have the greatest respect for Ms Anne Frank, and it was never our intention to be insulting, offensive, or to reap profits from naming the product after a historical figure whose life was tragically cut-short by events that bring out the worst of mankind.”
The Anne Frank-inspired product is no longer available for purchase on WULT’s website.