A Canadian Inuit touring New Zealand has been offended by one of the staples of the Kiwi lolly mixture, the marshmellow Eskimos .
Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, 21, an Inuit of the Nunavut Territory in Canada, says the Eskimo lolly, manufactured by Cadbury/Pascall, is an insult to her people.
The word Eskimo is unacceptable in her country and carries with it negative racial connotations, she said.
She intends sending packets of the iconic confectionary to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and her grandfather, a Inuit tribal elder in the Nunavut Territory.
A name change by the manufacturer will no doubt be called a PC over-reaction, but would we say that if we came across a marshmellow caricature called a Hori in another country?
Is this very different from the name change for the wee white sticks with the pink ends we called cigarettes when I was a child? They’re now known as space sticks because the attitude to smoking has changed and it’s, correctly, seen as silly to associate smoking with sweets.
Now that the insult has been pointed out, Cadbury/Pascal will have to have a rethink and when they act on that I’m sure we’ll find that marshmellow lollies by another name will taste as sweet.
UPDATE: Alf Grumble has a different view.
UPADATE 2: Keeping Stock is on Alf’s side.