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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Officials for Mills Memorial Hospital replacement project named

Project is estimated to cost $450 million

Letter to the editor: I stand with them

Hazelton resident shares his perspective on why he supports the Wet’suwet’en

Terrace cab stolen, found destroyed along Hwy 16 riverbank at rest stop

Driver was sent to Prince Rupert hospital after stealing the running vehicle from company lot

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read