Australian airline, Qantas, has moved to apologise after a recent Twitter post caused on outrage amongst users on the micro blogging site, according to a report published by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Having given away two free tickets for the Rugby Union match between Australia and the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup, Qantas tweeted a picture of the two winners, donning black face-paint and afro wigs with the post on Saturday (August 27).
It read: “Looks like our Twitter winners of the Bledisloe Cup tix lived up to their promise! Good work.”
The fans were awarded the tickets for the event after promising to dress up in homage to their favourite Australia player, Radike Samo – of Fijian heritage.
It was a Social media marketing stunt that however backfired, resulting in a very swift backlash from Twitter’s users.
Qantas quickly removed the image and posted an apology: “We apologise the photo of 2 Radike fans offended people. We’ve spoke with Radike and whilst he has no issue with it we have removed the image,” the airline’s tweet read.
Stephen Ryan, chairman for NSW Aboriginal Land Council was angered by the stunt.
He said: “It’s hard to believe that a company that has used the Aboriginal iconography to try and improve its image didn’t know that this could easily be construed as racist.”
Meanwhile, the man at the centre of the controversy, Radike Samo brushed off the controversy as an over-reaction.
Commenting on the issue, he argued: “These guys were actually paying me a tribute. It was a bit of fun and I think it’s great that they regarded me as their favourite Wallaby.”
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