Blackface donned by rugby fans in Qantas promotion gets airline in hot water in social media. Qantas already facing financial trouble.
Poor Qantas Airways. Although it has associated itself with cuddly Australian wildlife like koalas and kangaroos over the years – and has never suffered a jetliner crash – the Australian carrier has suddenly landed in a prickly patch.
Earlier this month, it announced it was cutting 1,000 jobs and restructuring its money-losing international operations. Its engineers have started a one-hour-a-week walkout. Its management is trying to quash takeover talk. Now the airline is in trouble with its social media fans.
In a Twitter contest last week, it offered two tickets to an international rugby match to fans with the best show of support for the national Australian team. The carrier awarded the prize to two white men who donned blackface and wigs to honor their favorite player, a black star from Fiji called Radike Samo.
That touched off a furious response from some Qantas fans on social media networks. The carrier pulled the ad and apologized. But it didn’t end there. According to the Daily Mail in London: