A property listing has raised eyebrows after viewers noticed a controversial detail in a photo of one of the bedrooms.
The villa in North Richmond, NSW, is currently on the market for $635,000 and boasts three bedrooms, a “modern” kitchen and a neat backyard – but it was another feature that got people talking.
The photo shows a double bed with drawers on either side, with all three pieces of furniture are covered in golliwogs.
At least 17 dolls are seated along the pillows and the bedside tables in a display that left viewers shocked.
Photos of the property were uploaded to popular Instagram page, Lords of Property, where they captioned the photo: “Maybe not the best advertisement for the house…”
Viewers were quick to react.
“What not to do,” one wrote.
“Wouldn’t (you) just not put that photo up?” another said.
“So weird how there’s nothing else in the room, it’s like completely blank… except for the dolls,” someone else wrote.
“Before racism was bad,” another person wrote.
“Owned by an ex hey hey it’s Saturday producer,” one joked, referring to the in famous blackface skit that made global headlines in 2009.
Several viewers didn’t see the fuss, with one calling the reaction a “storm in a teacup” and another noting that the dolls were a popular sight “30 years ago”.
“Yeah I feel like the Golliwog brand has some, uh, headwinds that might prevent that,” one person responded.
Why are golliwogs controversial?
While some consider golliwog dolls to be “innocent” toys, many see them as an offensive stereotype of black and Indigenous people.
The dolls can be traced back to 1895, when artist Florence Kate Upton illustrated her children’s book with depictions of a ‘Negro minstrel doll’.
Upton’s character was loveable but was described as “a horrid sight”, while later versions of golliwogs were often portrayed as “unkind, mean-spirited and even more visually hideous”, according to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.
Aboriginal actress Shari Sebbens, who starred in The Sapphires, said for many older Indigenous people golliwogs make them feel dehumanised.
“It’s really naive to assume that we’re not smart enough to assume the racial connotations behind those dolls,” she previously told Yahoo News Australia.
“It infantilises us; people of colour. It’s a mockery,” she said.
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