Oct 23, 2020
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IKEA's 2021 catalog will be delayed after the company fixed a potentially racist image.
The furniture store distributed the catalog internally and found an image "that could be misinterpreted."
According to a report in Quartz, a photograph of a young black man wearing a shirt with a sequence of numbers across the back was pulled out of the latest catalog. An IKEA employee signaled the shirt design could resemble a serial number on a prison inmate's uniform, perpetuating a stereotype of black youth, said the report.
The ad was meant to show IKEA's TaskRabbit furniture assembly service. The company reshot the image and updated the ad in their print and digital catalogs.
"We will not be reprinting the U.S. print catalogs, but are working to remove the page with the image," said IKEA in an email to USA TODAY. "The printed version of the U.S catalog will be available in stores later this year. We will provide more information at that time."
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This year’s edition of the IKEA catalog, with 296 pages, marks its 70th birthday.
The digital version of the catalog is officially launching for all customers on Oct. 26. It is available now as an exclusive preview for IKEA Family Members.
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In June, the Swedish furniture store said it would commit $3 million over the next 12 months to support organizations that are working in support of social justice, economic empowerment and education initiatives for Black communities.