Apple Is Releasing New Racially Diverse Emojis (But One of Them Looks Very Offensive)

by John Boone 2:19 PM PST, February 23, 2015
Photo: Apple

What feels like a million years ago*, it was announced that new emoji would be released to correct a few issues: 1) No taco emoji. 2) No middle finger emoji. 3) Most importantly of all, literally no diversity among the emoji people, minus the stereotypical Asian face and Indian man in a turban.

(*June of 2014)

Now, they're finally coming: Apple’s new beta software reveals over 300 new emoji, including 32 flags of various countries, alternate family types, and the ability to select an emoji and change its skin tone:

NEWS: Which emoji do you think Catherine Zeta-Jones looks like here?

All human emojis -- including Santa! -- are customizable, which seems like a good start to fixing Apple’s emoji diversity problem. Except uuuuuuuuuuum, what is that yellow face supposed to be?

We hope that’s not supposed to be what we think it is. We hope Apple was trying to really diverse and become inclusive of LEGO people too. Turns out, it’s not what it looks like.

An Apple analyst, Rene Ritchie, tweeted, “The yellow emoji aren’t meant to represent a skin tone. They’re default emoji yellow. Tap to hold to get one of the five skin tone choices.” He explains that Apple is using a Unicode system and the absence of a specified skin-tone defaults in “a non-human color.”

Photo: Apple


The new emoji will be released with the next version of Apple’s iOS and OS X, though no release date has been set. Now, where’s our corn dog emoji?!