• One of the dolls removed from display at the Royal Adelaide Show. (Twitter)Source: Twitter
The toys were awarded prizes in a handicrafts competition.
By
NITV Staff Writer

3 Sep 2018 - 11:10 AM  UPDATED 3 Sep 2018 - 3:26 PM

The Royal Adelaide Show has removed several golliwog dolls from a public display in response to accusations of racism on social media.

Photos of the dolls were posted on Twitter by activist Dominic Guerrera on Sunday and reposted on Facebook by social media group Deadly Yarning.

Mr Guerrera, who is of Nagarrindjeri, Kaurna and Italian descent, told NITV News he felt shocked when he saw the dolls on public display.

“As an Aboriginal person I went from having a really fun day with my friends, going through all the exhibitions, to having to confront racism,” he said.

He said he had previously seen Golliwog dolls on display at florists, chemists and newsagencies and told store staff he was offended.

“I think people have been a little bit blinded by the cuteness of the toy,” he said.

“Once you know what these dolls represent, you should get rid of them.”

Dozens of people responded to the post, some criticising the event for accepting the dolls as entries while others insisted that the dolls are not offensive.

Janette Milera, an Aboriginal woman of Kaurna, Arabunna and Narungga descent, shared the images on the Deadly Yarning Facebook page.

She said the creators were unlikely to have deliberately caused offense but argued they should make better informed choices.

“I was a bit disgusted and a bit annoyed that we are in 2018 and these dolls are still accepted,” Ms Milera told NITV News.

“Because of the history of these dolls they shouldn’t be accepted anywhere.”

The golliwog is a fictional character created by American author Florence Kate Upton that appeared in children's books in the late 19th Century, usually depicted as a type of rag doll.

It has become controversial for its perceived racist connotations.

In a statement posted to Facebook, the Royal Adelaide Show said “no offence was intended”.

“There are variety of traditional dolls entered in the handicrafts competition including Parisian dolls, Japanese dolls and African dolls, however the dolls above have been removed from the display.”

Event organisers have indicated it was unlikely to feature similar dolls again in the future.

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