A mostly-white fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania has apologized for including a dark-skinned blow-up sex doll in its Christmas card, and said that the stunt was intended to be a joke about Beyoncé.
The Daily Pennsylvanian reported that a member of the Phi Delta Theta posted the Christmas card on Facebook over the weekend. The photo shows over two dozen white brothers posing with the black sex toy.
Phi Delta Theta President Jimmy Germi apologized in an email to UMOJA, which represents students of the African Diaspora. According to the draft apology, the Beyoncé gag gift had been part of the fraternity’s Secret Santa event.
“The inclusion of a racially and sexually charged object in such a flagrant fashion displays a serious and immediate need for repercussions that reflect the severity of this misogynistic, racist offense,” a coalition of five minority groups on campus said in a joint statement. “We—UMOJA, APSC, UMC, [email protected] Coalition, Lambda Alliance, and PCUW—firmly believe that when an event like this marginalizes one of our communities, it marginalizes us all.”
“What particularly concerns us is how flippant this deeply misogynistic and racist choice seems to have been,” the Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women (PCUW) added in an addendum.
The Phi Delta Theta apology admitted that the Beyoncé sex toy was “distasteful” because “once removed from the packaging, it bore no semblance to the artist beyond skin color adding to its offensive nature.”
The fraternity also insisted that there were “absolutely no prejudicial motivations,” but that “the absence of racial motivation is no justification for this act of poor judgement and the decision not to include a sex toy in a holiday picture should have been an easy one.”