Five Racist And Homophobic Aussie Snacks That Definitely Deserved To Die

Image: iStock

Plenty of iconic Aussie snacks didn't deserve to die but Australia has had a slightly sordid history when it comes to keeping our snacks free of racist and homophobic undertones.

Here are five Aussie snacks that you won't find in 2018 because they rightly deserved to die.

Arnott's Golliwog Biscuits

Image: Museums Victoria

For a period of time in the 1960s, Golliwog dolls became edible thanks to Arnott's, who produced the chocolate biscuits for a number of years before changing their name to 'Scalliwags'. The 'Golliwog' is an inherently racist caricature, influenced by the blackface minstrels of yesteryear - symbols of black oppression. The Golliwog entered into popular culture during the mid-20th century and some still claim it holds nostalgic memories, however, many businesses that have sold the dolls or the biscuits have been asked to remove advertisements or products from their shelves.

Ni**er Boy Licorice

Image: Museums Victoria

The National Licorice company produced these licorice blocks throughout the 1950s and 1960s and, according to the Museum of victoria, these kinds of snacks show how racist African American stereotypes were once imported into the country. Looking through the advertisements for this snack in the Museums Victoria collection, it's pretty obvious why it doesn't exist anymore.

Redskins

Image: Allen's

The debate around the term 'redskin' has been raging in the US for some time now - one of the major NFL teams are still known as the 'Redskins' - and Native Americans have been subject to the pejorative term since the era of slave labour in American plantations. Originally, the chewy lolly was wrapped with an image of a Native American in full headdress, but now Allen's has changed the logo to be a simple combination of red and purple typeface.

Fags

Image: Riviera

Now known as FADS fun sticks these days, this Australian musk-flavoured snack - shaped like a cigarette - is the double whammy of inappropriateness. Not only was the snack shaped like a cigarette, complete with a red tip (as if the cigarette was alight), it was also known as a 'fag'. Yes, it was a slang term for cigarettes back in the day, but it's also a homophobic slur. Attitudes have changed dramatically towards both smoking and same-sex relationships since fags were first introduced and they were rightfully renamed to Fads in the '90s.

Creole Creams

Image: Museums Victoria

When Coles introduced a home brand Oreo-style chocolate biscuit with white cream filling back in 2009, they decided to name them 'Creole' creams. Someone from marketing definitely got fired for this one, because 'creole' had for years been a term used to describe a person of mixed heritage. Sam Watson, deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at University of Queensland, was quoted by the Brisbane Times as saying "'The word Creole comes from a period when people's humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream." Coles stood by the branding initially, but public backlash eventually forced them to change the name.


This article has been updated since its original publication.


Comments

    Redskins are still available to this day, all they have done is changed the branding. This time of year they are especially relevant actually because they are a very popular Easter showbag filler. They are certainly not dead.

    Another interesting one is the Chico Roll. They are still called Chico Rolls obviously, but people from Central and South America may find the word "chico" offensive in the same way Indigenous Americans find "redskin" offensive. The days of calling them "chico rolls" may be numbered.

      Except that they are called "Chiko Rolls"...

        You're right, they are.

        In this particular case though, I don't think the spelling matters as the pronunciation is the same. If you called someone that word, do you think they'd stop and say "did you mean chico with a 'c', or chiko with a 'k'?" before they got offended?

          How long has that been a racial slur though? In Australia, I mean? I can't imagine the sales of a Bendigo-invented (Bendigan?) snack are exactly through the roof in Central America.

          I sometimes wonder whether there are people with so little going on in their lives that they are reduced to seeking out offence where it doesn't exist, or worse, seeking it out on behalf of others.

            Bendigonian :-)

              My next guess would have been "Bendiguan". :)

                I don't suppose "bogan" is related to "Bendigonian"? Several etymologists have traced its origins to the outer northern and western suburbs of Melbourne in the 1980s, which is where contact with the savage tribes to the north would have been most frequent. Not a racist term, but certainly implying the existence of class division along socio-economic lines, much like "commoners" in the UK or "rednecks" "hillbillies" and "trailer trash" in the US. A true bogan is as blissfully unaware of his/her own lowly status as they are of the societal norms and linguistic nuances that make them so easy to identify. The mullet is a prime example, as are wearing your best runners to court, the triple-whammy of trunkal-obesity, current or very recent (and in rare cases, most likely very imminent) pregnancy and leggings, and personal wrecking yards on one's urban property. On this last point, quite often several generations and branches of the same family will operate very similar vehicles and utilise the many near-identical rusted-out shells in front of each-others' government-issued dwellings as a shared resource to keep their vehicles operational and to facilitate their spread of their shared genetics over the widest possible area.

          I can't imagine any Spanish-speaking person actually getting offended at being called 'chico.' It's pretty translates to 'guy.'
          I suppose if you delivered it in a particularly nasty manner it might do the trick, but at that point, any word would do really.

          I think the pronounciation does though, the slur term is more like Cheeko, and the roll is Chick-o

      Yeah, but changing the branding away from the Native American was a step in the right direction. That's why I brought up the US arguments - even if that NFL team moved away from the Redskins having a Native American logo... would that be cool? I wouldn't say so.

        I think the Cleveland Indians baseball team are moving away from the name in the next couple of years. Or at least the logo, which is similar to the Redskins logo.

      Finding words offensive because they sound like a word in another language is a slippery slope to banning a lot of language!

      When I lived in France, I loved the fact that supermarkets would frequently play English language songs with the word "Fuck" in them (e.g. Lily Allen's song) because it wasn't a French word and therefore couldn't be construed as offensive to a Francophone.

      It seems that in the Anglophone world, people are looking for anything that sounds a little bit offensive in order to be enraged by it.

        Wait a minute...so all this time when someone said that word and then said "excuse the French", they were lying?!?!?!?!?!

          No, it was actually a sneaky way to sneak in an apology for France that had nothing to do with the previous utterance.

    I love how you, and the Brisbane times, managed to include an aboriginal source, for no reason at all.

    Well, ok, for one reason.

    Last edited 10/04/18 11:50 am

      Confused by this - the public debate around the Creole creams was sparked by Sam Watson and considering I used the Times article as a source of this information, why wouldn't I include that?

    I guess they need to ban Coon Cheese huh?

      Edward William Coon created the cheese and the process of Cooning. Interesting one.

        So how exactly is that different from 'fags?' Plenty of people (especially Brits) without a homophobic bone in their body, call cigarettes fags. If you want to go even deeper, a faggot is a piece of wood (it even shows up in Fellowship of the Ring).

        Fag has an entirely innocent meaning that predates its derogatory use. If you want to ban it, then be consistent and chuck Coon on that list too, along with any other food that could potentially offend, like rapeseed, still called 'rape' in the context of animal feed.

        Yes, Golliwog is inexcusable because it has known no other definition, but the biggest problem like fags is that they can normalise smoking in kids. Calling for its death is just as hysterical as mums getting Grave Robber ice cream banned for fear kids would dig up corpses.

          Actually they were renamed because of the link with smoking not the homophobic slur. I remember the lollies looking a lot more like a smoke as a kid, I think they changed the colouring on them to look a little less like cigarettes.

          Side note: they had a bunch of other cigarette type lollies that got cancelled once smoking became "unfashionable". Like candy cigars, chocolate smoke wrapped in paper that was coloured exactly like a real filtered cigarette.

          FAGS made me gay, not a smoker.

          Policing language so that multiple means are no longer permissible is a terrible characteristic of our age. Every word/sign is determined to have a single, non-nuanced, unambiguous meaning with no allowance for the multiple (shades of) meaning that decorate language, give us poetry and reveal our linguistic history.

          Because it's still at best just a slang term, and one that people are becoming less familiar with over time.
          A person's name like 'Coon' doesn't change though, so it doesn't need to be updated to match the times.

          Irrelevant but fagging is a practice in English boarding schools where junior boys would carry out menial tasks for senior boys.
          They were called fags.
          Was seen to be character forming but now no longer in practice except in one school.
          You can see how this can be abused.

      Someone tried about 10 years ago, claiming they could find no connection to Edward Coon. It was stopped pretty fast, the guy was a renowned activist, who in my opinion had more than a few screws loose.

    I know it isnt racist or homophibic, but Big Boss candies were also changed from their original fake cigar to that of fake dynamite.

      Yeah, I remember the Big Boss cigars. I was researching them too... amazing how smoking used to be looked at

    Redskins were, and are, yummy but I really miss fags ;(. Yes, they were meant to simulate ciggs (cigarettes) and weren't sexist as the term fag didn't really become popularly recognised until many years after they stopped selling as fags.
    My point being you state 'Yes, it was a slang term for cigarettes back in the day, but it's also a homophobic slur." is irrelevent as it didn't become recognised as a homophobic slur in the day when they existed back in the day the slur was mainly (virtually only) 'poof' whereas that has almost become an extintic word today in comparision (yes I know it still exsits but not like it did in the day people are much more likely to use terms like 'fag' nowadays which they never did back then
    Replacing them with the name 'Fads' also meant stopping the red tip (of ?sugar) at one end which was the most delicious part supposedly to stop them being compared with cigarettes. As a kid, I loved fags but couldn't really care less about fads

    Last edited 10/04/18 12:49 pm

      I only hear the word poof on occasion from older people.

      Don't know why you're downvoted for that. That's exactly as I remember them when I was a kid.

      From memory the red tip on Fags was just red food colouring I believe, I don't remember them having any different flavour or texture. Big Boss Cigars on the other hand definitely had a red sugar tip.

    FAGS/FADS would have been better to totally re-imagine the candy so it didn't look like a cigarette any more. Otherwise you may as well leave it as FAGS, because that is well understood to be a cigarette. After all no one is asking for FRUIT to be renamed.

    I always felt a bit conflicted about Golliwogs. They were omnipresent in my childhood reading during a time I lived in the bush with quite a large number of Aboriginal people, including my neighbours and playmates. . However, I never connected golliwogs with being a representation of black people, not least because children's books and toys are full of strange looking and oddly coloured caricatures of people and animals.

    Golliwogs were my favourite biscuit as a kid. I'd always start by eating the hair first, then the feet followed by a decapitation and then the torso. It had nothing to do with race with me. It was just a biscuit man you could eat. Good times.

    Besides, Golliwog and Redskins, are American guilt. Not ours.

    As for FAGS, there's a fair point about the inappropriate emulation of smoking for kids. I used to love 'eating FAGS' as a kid and I now smoke (Yes, that last sentence does look so wrong in todays context ;) - but that's only because of todays standards being retro actively applied to another time. You could argue if a product named Fags was released today, it could have 'offensive connotations', but at the time it certainly wasn't.

    And what about my favourite childhood ice cream 'Golden Gaytime'? In the day it was a tasty icecream. Now it's a tasty icecream which can still illicit a juvenile giggle from me at times. Surely my giggle could be misconstrued as offensive to the easily offended and as such should be renamed to avoid further 'hate crimes'? :p

    Fags were a common sight when I was a kid.
    I did like the Big Boss cigars and I used to ‘smoke’ them in the school holidays when playing Monopoly, especially when I was on a winning roll.
    I also drank sarsparilla spiders in big mugs and the head on them would rise above the glass and was the epitome of opulance. (off topic I know, but the lolly cigars triggered a memory)

    interesting, I'm in my late 40's and I've never heard anyone used the term Creole as a slang term. When I saw the biscuits, I was annoyed they had nothing to do with the taste of southern America.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now