Black Pudding store owner Greg Bowles said in 20 years, there have only been “four or five” negative comments about the “Golliwog” dolls the Langley British import store sells. Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times

‘Golliwog’ doll sells out after complaint at B.C. store, but owner not planning to restock

A customer complained about the dolls, which have been criticized as caricatures of black people.

The controversial “golliwog” dolls are off the shelves at a Langley British-imports store for now, and the owner said he’s not sure he’ll order more.

“They’re sold out,” said Greg Bowles of Black Pudding imports.

The dolls sparked a complaint from Surrey resident Taylor Walker, who told the Langley Times Advance she was startled to see the dolls for sale during a visit to the store Sunday.

Walker, whose father is black, said the imported British-made black dolls, which have eyes rimmed in white, big red lips and frizzy hair, were offensive.

Bowles and co-owner Linda Hazelton insisted the dolls weren’t racist.

READ MORE: Langley shop owners say they will keep selling controversial golliwog dolls

Following the story about the incident, which drew a great deal of comment on social media, Bowles said the store received some harassing messages, as well as a lot of support.

“They’re harassing other stores now,” Bowles said.

He said he’s not planning to re-stock the dolls at this point. The ones in the store recently were part of an order from 2015. Bowles said he wasn’t sure it made business sense to order more.

Golliwog dolls are based on a character in an 1895 children’s book called The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg by British author Florence Kate Upton, who described the character as “the blackest gnome.”

It was a popular children’s toy in many European countries, but in recent years has become a magnet for controversy, with critics saying the doll was based on blackface worn by white performers who crudely stereotyped black people.

According to a number of historical sources, the doll inspired the racial slur “wog.”

Because of that, Hazelton and Bowles said, the toys are now called “Golly” dolls.

The Ferris State University “Jim Crow museum of racist memorabilia” website said Golliwog dolls were the “least known of the major anti-black caricatures in the United States.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read