Well, this popped on my radar over the weekend.
Then someone showed me this older commercial that pretty much does a reversal of the "washing" dynamic:
Internet outrage culture has developed a strange kind of hierarchy when it comes to political issues. Racism is more outrageous than murder, and, in the darker corners of the internet, feminism is somehow worse than both.
Basically we've outsourced the development of our collective moral philosophy from the likes of Immanuel Kant to Reddit, HuffPo, and Buzzfeed. Who would've thunk it?
Also, while the Chinese commercial in question is certainly tone-deaf and racist, having been to mainland China few times myself, it's far from the most outrageous thing I've seen on Chinese TV. Their WWII-era soap operas are pretty bonkers. It'a basically like American media in the early 20th century.
That being said, I do think it's right to criticize the commercial because Chinese media, much like conventional Western media or media in other developed Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, tends to be run by a bunch of old conservative dudes who live in an echo chamber bubble that really should be punctured from time to time. Even if we're all just a bunch of pots and kettles calling each other black, if we do it often enough maybe we'll finally get embarrassed enough to clean some of the dirt off.