Okay if you're still here - let's talk. This was posted on Simplicity's Facebook and Instagram pages this weekend.
Simplicity has issued an apology on their Facebook page. Thanks to the Simplicity Team for listening to our objections and taking them seriously! It is appreciated!
I'm sure if you don't see color or glanced at it quickly, you thought nothing of it. Or if you don't know anything about the movie "Hidden Figures" again it was just a post. However, let me give you a synopsis of the movie.
This is the "Hollywood Bio" of the movie ~
This is the untold story of three brilliant African-American women at NASA - Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
Here is the real tip ~
These women were smart and worked in mathematics and science when black women weren't encouraged to be more than maids. They fought to attend college, for positions that should have been theirs because of their knowledge and ability. They didn't have the right to vote. They couldn't go to the bathroom with white women because the bathrooms were segregated - one for white women and another in a different building for black women. They were considered lesser than just about everyone.
They worked as human "computers" at NASA because white men thought it was a demeaning job when they could be engineers. BUT these women were the actual mathematicians behind the successful launch of the first space shuttle. Their knowledge of math and science figured out the necessary equations to make the trip around the earth work.
Now the important thing ~
Did you know about these women before the movie came out? Where you taught about this in school? Did you know that John Glenn trusted "the little black girl" to make sure that he got home safely? If not, you will now understand the name of the movie, "Hidden Figures." So many contributions that People of Color have made to our American society have been shoved to the side, hidden and devalued.
Look at the picture again...can you see the problem with this picture now?
Of course there was a lot of conversation surrounding the picture, more vicious on Facebook and more moderated on Instagram. When sewists asked Simplicity about the picture, it was removed from Instagram and the post on Facebook with the subsequent conversation was taken down.
Here's the point of my post. Yes the picture on both Facebook and Instagram was insensitive and a very poor marketing attempt of a pattern, but it shouldn't have been removed. Simplicity should have come out and said they made a mistake. That sewists of color are important to them and that they would try harder in the future to be more inclusive.
Instead, they HID the picture and tried to ignore the uproar. If Dairy Queen can apologize for the racist rants of one of their owners or Chili's can apologize for a free meal that was denied to an African-American Veteran, then shouldn't Simplicity, as a corporate entity, apologize also?
More importantly, Simplicity missed an opportunity to talk to their customers white, black, and hispanic. They missed the opportunity to really support this groundbreaking movie for ALL women. They are probably going to miss some dollars from a group of sewists who were perturbed by how the situation was handled...and they lost the respect of a segment of their community. A community that's a niche market as it is.
If anyone from Simplicity reads this post, I highly suggest that you rethink your position on this issue.
If you haven't heard about this movie, here's a clip and an interesting note. Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson) was not only a human computer at NASA but she sewed a large amount of her wardrobe.
I hope you will support this movie because it does celebrate one of our own, a sewist!
...as always more later!