IKEA Photoshopped All Of The Women Out Of Its Saudi Arabia Catalog
Oh, IKEA. We love you for allowing us to fully furnish our first college apartment. We love you for the free ferry ride to Red Hook and the cafeteria filled with funny things like lingonberry juice. We don’t even mind the billions of components and endlessly confusing instructions every item you sell seems to have (ok fine, we’ll hire someone to put the really tricky stuff together). But this we definitely do not love.
It seems the Saudia Arabian edition of the latest Ikea catalog is missing one (let’s face it) very important aspect of most well-maintained homes: women. Swedish newspaper Metro ran a piece yesterday showing the original images alongside the edited versions, and sure enough, where once there were women is now merely fiberboard. Online reaction was swift and outraged — rightfully so, since the women in question were doing nothing more scandalous than standing around with their (presumably fake) kids or folding bed linens.
“We’re deeply sorry for what has happened,” Ulrika Englesson Sandman, a spokeswoman for the IKEA Group said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “It’s not the local franchisee that has removed the photos. The error has occurred in the process of producing the proposal to Saudi Arabia, and that is ultimately our responsibility.” That may be true, but at least they deserve some props for performing the Photoshop excision better than most.