Listen, we all love emojis, especially here at Betabeat (well, most of the time). But one thing that’s always irked us is the distinct lack of diversity in the emoji catalogue. There are at least 30 emojis that depict white people, but there’s nary a black person to be found. There’s one apparently Asian man, plus a darker-skinned guy in a turban.
Thankfully, Apple says they’re working on it. MTV’s Act blog got Apple spokesperson Katie Cotton to speak on the subject. She said:
“… We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”
Let’s hope the update comes soon. It’s pretty sad, for example, that this entire “Drunk in Love” emoji video, as well as this video for “Sanctified,” contain zero black emojis, since none exist. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Miley was right.
Can’t we have a set of emojis that look like the world around us instead of some whitewashed digital fantasy? And while we’re at it, we’ll take a redhead, a fat person, and someone wearing glasses, too, please.