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IKEA is reprinting the 2021 catalog for one picture and is delaying it

October 26, 2020

The company explains that the photo could be interpreted as racist.

2 min read


  • A t-shirt was controversial.
  • The company explains that the photo could be interpreted as racist.
IKEA is reprinting the 2021 catalog for one picture and is delaying it
IKEA is reprinting the 2021 catalog for one picture and is delaying it

IKEAThe Swedish multinational had reprinted its entire catalog for 2021. The reason? The material contained a picture that, according to the company, could be interpreted as racist.

As reported Quartz at work, It was a full-page photo of a young black man injured in a cast and finger splint, presumably due to a skateboarding accident involving the props to the left of the frame.

The model’s shirt is the subject of controversy: an IKEA employee suggested that a string of numbers on his back (45678) could be interpreted as serial numbers on an inmate’s uniform, fueling a negative stereotype of a young black man.

Corrected photo. Image: Digital version of the IKEA catalog.

“After reviewing the photo, we agree that it lends itself to negative interpretation and could reinforce negative stereotypes,” said IKEA quartz.

The company also noted that the number was just a design detail, recalling that diversity and inclusion are part of its core values. The corrected digital edition shows a black man looking at parts and instructions.