Black Pudding store owner Greg Bowles said in 20 years, there have only been “four or five” negative comments about the “Golliwog” dolls the Langley British import store sells. Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times

‘Golliwog’ doll sells out after complaint at B.C. store, but owner not planning to restock

A customer complained about the dolls, which have been criticized as caricatures of black people.

The controversial “golliwog” dolls are off the shelves at a Langley British-imports store for now, and the owner said he’s not sure he’ll order more.

“They’re sold out,” said Greg Bowles of Black Pudding imports.

The dolls sparked a complaint from Surrey resident Taylor Walker, who told the Langley Times Advance she was startled to see the dolls for sale during a visit to the store Sunday.

Walker, whose father is black, said the imported British-made black dolls, which have eyes rimmed in white, big red lips and frizzy hair, were offensive.

Bowles and co-owner Linda Hazelton insisted the dolls weren’t racist.

READ MORE: Langley shop owners say they will keep selling controversial golliwog dolls

Following the story about the incident, which drew a great deal of comment on social media, Bowles said the store received some harassing messages, as well as a lot of support.

“They’re harassing other stores now,” Bowles said.

He said he’s not planning to re-stock the dolls at this point. The ones in the store recently were part of an order from 2015. Bowles said he wasn’t sure it made business sense to order more.

Golliwog dolls are based on a character in an 1895 children’s book called The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg by British author Florence Kate Upton, who described the character as “the blackest gnome.”

It was a popular children’s toy in many European countries, but in recent years has become a magnet for controversy, with critics saying the doll was based on blackface worn by white performers who crudely stereotyped black people.

According to a number of historical sources, the doll inspired the racial slur “wog.”

Because of that, Hazelton and Bowles said, the toys are now called “Golly” dolls.

The Ferris State University “Jim Crow museum of racist memorabilia” website said Golliwog dolls were the “least known of the major anti-black caricatures in the United States.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Jaffray local Katie Anderson wins Boarderstyle event

A Jaffray woman dominated the slopes Saturday to claim first place in… Continue reading

Education key to coexistence: CanWel

CanWel executives say education is key to the Fernie community and forestry… Continue reading

RCMP investigating break-and-enter attempts in Fernie

Police are investigating four reports of attempted break-and-enters at the condos and… Continue reading

Fernie food share program thrives under new partnership

Four times the amount of food is being saved from landfill under… Continue reading

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read