iPhone Users Form Petition Urging Apple To Finally Get Some Black Emojis

August 23, 2013  |  

Source: Change.org

If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably noticed that the popular Emoji symbols are lacking faces of color. To be more specific, there is not a single brown face. While some probably see this as a minuscule discussion in a world with much bigger issues, others find it to be rather slighting. Earlier this week a petition was formed on DoSomething.org requesting that Apple executives Tim Cook and Jony Ive produce more faces of color for their Emoji app.

“If you look at Apple’s Emoji keyboard, what do you see? Two different camels. A smiling turd. EVERY PHASE OF THE MOON,” the beginning of the petition reads.

“But of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban. There’s a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we’re pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there’s a staggering lack of minority representation,” the writer continues.

“Apple has been one of the biggest pioneers of Emojis, from offering them as full-color images to introducing them to the American market in the first place. And, the company has already taken steps to make Emojis more inclusive: iOS6 debuted same-sex couple Emojis. That’s why we’re asking Apple to take the lead again and diversify their Emoji typeface, recognizing people of color as people…and Emojis. Everyone deserves to feel visible and represented.

Apple’s new iOS7 is launching this fall, so let’s speak up and get this changed. Tell Apple to update their iOS7 Emoji keyboard to include at least four faces with some melanin: a man, a woman, a boy, and a girl.”

Some have tried to combat the petition with explanations that Apple does not actually own the Emoji app, but the petition’s organizers had a response for that as well.

“Some have responded to the petition saying that Apple doesn’t “own” Emojis. That’s true, but Apple can still change their Emoji options:

Emoji is a set of codes that are then displayed as pictures – faces, animals, etc. While the codes were developed in Japan, there are several corresponding “fonts” – including Apple’s, which was groundbreaking. Not only did they add full color and customize certain images (one’s even an iPhone!), but their version is quickly becoming the Emoji standard.

Now we’re asking Apple to take another pioneering step and make darker-skinned faces a priority in their typeface (perhaps over certain symbols that aren’t really used).”

So far the petition has acquired 1,768 signatures.


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  • ellen

    Yes, I agree and for Hanukkah or any other Jewish celebration there is nothing….but a six sided star….the church for marriage has a cross….no Jewish Temples….they need to diversify…

  • Interesting. Emojis aren’t really important to me but I can see the “need.” More important would be to look behind that failure. I think it is just a symptom. Eight people on the Apple board. Seven old white guys and one Asian-American woman. That doesn’t seem very balanced to me and there is plenty of evidence linking diversity to better business outcomes. Don’t just think white; think different.

  • chanela

    DAMN they were more “inclusive” by putting the gay emojis. eff black folks! smh lol

  • kickash

    how do we go from protesting for justice for trayvon and changing the stand your ground laws to making petitions for some stupid emojis???

  • Cici2013

    It would be cool to have an app where you can create your own emoji. Using different skin shades or hair colors. But I really don’t think it’s a big deal.

  • Trisha_B

    Lmao me & my friend joke about this all the time. I say the brown guy w/ the turban is actually a black guy w/ a durag lmfao…but I really don’t find a petition for some emojis that serious

  • JustSaying

    they should make a petition for them to give more apps and permit you to send things by bluetooth to other phones than just the Iphone.

  • Shade Thrower

    Seriously. I swear y’all will get mad at anything. Blacks complain about lack of Barbie Dolls and now y’all complaining about damn Emojis. Don’t want to throw in the race card but here goes….I never see Hispanics or Native Americans or Jews complaining about this crap even though they are a minority just as us. Y’all need to start petitioning about Education and all the killings in our community not no damn emojis. Get it together Black People!

    • It may not seem like a big deal but it speaks to the broader picture, where white people are always the default…And when you think about it why should they be?

    • Guest

      You never see them, but my Asian and Hispanic friends complain about this when asked. Most non-white people feel actively excluded by platforms like these. Emojis are a real, real easy place to start to address the issue.

    • chanela

      other races don’t mind because they are proud to be associated with white people and would rather use white characters than “brown” ones.black people are the only ones who are complete opposites of everybody else in the world. our hair and skin color and features are WAY different. we can’t relate to “default” white people stuff the way that native americans or
      hispanics can.

  • bluekissess

    Lol this is stupid.

  • Live_in_LDN

    Hmmm…I’m all about racial equality and equal representation but i’m going to file iphone emojis under ‘Stuff I don’t give a funk about’

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