The Mum Of The Children In Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert Explains How Racist Comments Have Affected Them

Anna Lewis
·4-min read
Photo credit: Sainsbury's
Photo credit: Sainsbury's

From Delish

Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s was forced to release a statement following a slew of disgusting, racist comments on its Christmas advert, Gravy Song.

And now the mum of the two children who star in the advert has spoken out about how the racist comments has affected her and her young children.

The first of three festive adverts from Sainsbury’s was released last week, and it focuses on the story of a Black family hoping they’ll be able to spend Christmas Day together. As old family photos and home movies are shown on screen, the daughter is heard speaking on the phone to her dad about being desperate to come home and have her mum’s roast potatoes and his signature gravy.

Photo credit: Sainsbury's
Photo credit: Sainsbury's

But tragically, the heart-warming advert has been targeted with racist comments on Twitter and YouTube, with many saying they don’t feel represented by the advert, and that they’ll be boycotting the supermarket and shopping elsewhere from now on.

Natasha, who is the mother of Malakhai, 11, and eight-year-old Shannel, said: "It hurts that people think that the colour of your skin determines what type of Christmas you should have. There are three adverts to show diversity but you can't win with these people.

"I don't think they wanted it to be about colour diversity. If the advert of another race makes you not want to shop there, well okay then, bye. It's just sad and unnecessary.

"It's racism so you learn to live with it. People should learn to love each other. I feel bad for them that they actually have the time to sit on a computer and post that about an advert."

Natasha explained how this racist outpouring has affected her young children.

"I'm glad Shannel doesn't know because she can't search for it but Malakhai can because he is in secondary school. He's not bothered in the slightest. I think I prepared them well for what they have to see out there.

"It's obviously ridiculous for people to criticise adverts. It's unfair for the people in it to come to abuse. But you can't cure racism - you just have to get on with your life. And you have to celebrate the people are willing to be inclusive, like Sainsbury's.

"People say racism doesn't exist, but if you are on the other side you don't see that."

A post on Instagram from @TheVoiceOfColour, which has been shared thousands of times on social media, collated the racist comments and was captioned: “For those who say racism isn’t a problem in the UK anymore.”

Sainsbury’s released a statement earlier this week responding to the racist comments.

“At Sainsbury's, we want to be the most inclusive retailer. That's why, throughout all our advertising we aim to represent a modern Britain, which has a diverse range of communities.

“We have three stories of three different families in our advertising."

Photo credit: Sainsbury's
Photo credit: Sainsbury's

The Gravy Song advert was posted to YouTube, and comments have since been turned off to prevent any further racist remarks.

Emma Bisley, Head of Broadcast Marketing at Sainsbury's, said of the festive campaign: “We know that this year has been different for everyone, so we wanted to take a different approach with our Christmas campaign by simply reminding people that Christmas dishes are gestures of love and care, served by up by those who matter most. It's our memories of these dishes, prepared by the people we love, that have the power to transport us home - whether we're there or not.

“It was important to us to focus on family connections and emotions, creating a relatable and heartfelt look at the memories Christmas brings, whilst providing a sense of optimism throughout. We hope everyone enjoys watching the collection and it takes them back to their fondest memories of food, home and Christmas.”

Photo credit: Sainsbury's
Photo credit: Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's has two more adverts coming out for Christmas. One titled Perfect Portions and another called Big Sarnie, which will air soon, and you bet we'll be singing the Gravy Song the whole of this festive season.