Terry White Chemists will no longer sell 'golly doll'

BREAKING: A Toowoomba chemist will no longer sell a rag doll in its pharmacy and has apologised after being accused of racism.

The chemist had erected an "experience a white Christmas" display in its store.

Positioned underneath the sign were nine black "golliwog" dolls.

A photo of the display led author and filmmaker Dr Stephen Hagan to call for their removal.

In a statement, Terry White Chemists Clifford Gardens Managing Partner, Alwyn Baumann said: "We unreservedly apologise if we have caused offence to our customers or any member of our local or broader community for selling this product.

"We have made a regrettable error in choosing to stock this product.

"Staff have removed the product from our shelves and we will be returning all purchased stock to the supplier.

"We will not stock this product in the future."

TAKING A STAND: Aboriginal activist Dr Stephen Hagan says a display at a Toowoomba chemist is offensive.
TAKING A STAND: Aboriginal activist Dr Stephen Hagan says a display at a Toowoomba chemist is offensive.

TerryWhite Chemmart added: "The Golly Doll is not part of our national line of endorsed products. 

"We have taken immediate action to audit all pharmacies within our network to ensure this product, if present in any other pharmacy, is withdrawn from sale.

"Pharmacy owners within our network can stock and sell products at their discretion, in addition to our national line of endorsed products.

"As a consequence, we will tighten our guidelines to ensure pharmacies within our network order and stock appropriate products consistent with our business values."

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The golliwog rag doll is a black fictional character created by Florence Kate Upton that appears in children's books in the late 19th century.

The doll is characterised by black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips and frizzy hair.

The image of the doll has become the subject of controversy. Its depiction of black people has been accused of being racist.

Public criticism of the doll began to intensify in the 1960s in the United Kingdom, partly influenced by a growing civil rights movement in the United States, according to Dr David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology at Ferris State University.

Mr Hagan commended the chemist on its stance, saying it was a mature approach to take on what he called a sensitive racial issue.

"I appreciate the swiftness of the action taken by the management at Terry White, they're to be congratulated."

Topics:  editors picks racism racist toowoomba

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