A Shop in Surrey Accused of Racism Over Controversial Image
A shop in Surrey, Farrants in Cobham, has come under fire for displaying an image that has been deemed racist and triggering. The image, which appears to depict black people working on a tobacco plantation overseen by white men, has caused outrage and calls for its removal.
Misan Harriman, the chairman of London’s Southbank Centre and a friend of Prince Harry and Meghan, recently visited Farrants while shopping for toys for his daughters. He expressed shock and disbelief at the image, stating, “I can’t believe what I just saw.”
This is not the first time Farrants has faced criticism for the same issue. Former Chelsea footballer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink revealed on social media that he had previously complained about the image in 2020 and was promised that it would be replaced.
Mr. Harriman, who has taken portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and is an ambassador of Save the Children UK, shared a video on Twitter expressing his outrage. The video quickly gained traction and has been shared thousands of times.
In the video, Mr. Harriman describes the image as “incredibly triggering” and highlights the problematic nature of its placement near the cash desk. He questions why such imagery is considered acceptable in a family store in 2023.
Following the circulation of Mr. Harriman’s video, Mr. Hasselbaink called on Farrants to fulfill their promise from 2020 and replace the image. He emphasized the need for attention to be given to this issue.
Farrants, a shop that has been a fixture on Cobham High Street since 1896, has a specialist tobacco room selling cigars and accessories. On their website, they explain that the image was chosen to honor and recognize the historical significance of Havana cigars. They claim that the photograph, taken in 1907 at the Pinar del Rio plantation, showcases the early cultivation of shade-grown tobacco and highlights the refusal to use slave labor.
Despite their explanation, the image has been widely criticized as racist and inappropriate for display in a family store. Many argue that the historical context does not justify its presence, especially considering the potential harm it can cause to customers.
As of now, Farrants has not provided a comment on the controversy. Sky News has reached out to them for further clarification.