back to article Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage

Apple has vowed to tackle the lack of racial diversity in its emojis and will work with the Unicode Consortium to make the annoying little images more politically correct. MTV Act contacted Apple to ask them to make sure the emojis were more diverse. Currently, the human emojis are mostly pinkish. This will not do, roared MTV …


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  1. hplasm
    Thumb Up


    "We have filed a request with the government in the hope of launching our own petition demanding that British politicians ban the use emojis altogether."


    1. Bronek Kozicki


      ... is that petition, so I can sign up ?!

      1. RealFred

        Re: WHERE

        Can we jail people who use them

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well-

      Well certainly all emojis that represent living beings, people or animals should be banned as Allah demands. I'm not sure of the Hadith position on "Smiling Turd" or Godzilla.

      Personally I just want to see the tories and the Daily Mail demanding a fatwa.

    3. sjsmoto

      Re: Well-

      Politicians should be limited to a waffle or a flip-flop.

    4. Eddy Ito

      Re: Well-

      Can we make it an international effort so the rest of us can sign? I think it would be better to go through the IETF rather than working through they myriad bureaucracies of the UN and member states.

      We got along just fine without the various flavors of :), ;(, :P and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when I was a kid... rods to the hogshead and all that.

    5. Mtech25

      Re: Well-

      Can I add to that and ask them to ban Miley Cyrus, all mention of twerking, Justin Bieber and One Direction?

      1. Ted Treen

        Re: Well-

        Not fair: I can only up vote you once, and your discernment and obvious exquisite taste deserves multiple up votes!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well-

      Beware, this could open a can of worms, next there will be a Jesus emojis followed by a Mohammed emojis...... All in the name of equality....

      It could lead to a religious war.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well-

        You forgot the flying spaghetti monster. Heathen.

  2. Matt 21

    Wait a minute there......

    All the letters I've just typed have come out black. I've checked nearly all the characters on this keyboard and not a single one has come out white apart from the very long key at the bottom and that's apparently just a "space".

    Something should be done!

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Wait a minute there......

      Try to keep up here.

      I had to look up "emoji" myself. Apparently, they're of Japanese origin (think smileys crossed with Hello Kitty). These are emoticons 3.0 -- and cover pretty much anything cute you might ever think of communicating. Especially things an 8 to 12 year old might think of.

      Actually, *exclusively* things an 8 to 12 year old might think of.

      Smiling Turd isn't my favorite, but it's right up there with Helpful Information Woman.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wait a minute there......

        It also includes a "love hotel". What kind of 8 to 12-year-olds do you hang out with?

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Wait a minute there......

          Japanese ones? The age of consent is 13 there.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Wait a minute there......

      All the ones I type come out green on a black background.

      2014 - the year of VMS on the desktop

      1. Tom 13

        Re: come out green on a black background.

        HERETIC!!! Thou are not of the body!

        Those who are of the body know they should be amber.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Wait a minute there......

      "All the letters I've just typed have come out black."

      ...and monochrome is exactly how all the emojis *should* have been rendered (and *that's* assuming they were ever worth adding to the Unicode standard in the first place).

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Argh, nooo...

    Android's default character set support is a robot pulling faces. This is humanist. We need to duplicate all robot faces with the exact same human faces and fill up more code points.

    The race of the emoji depends on the font used to display the code point, not the code point itself. Apple could vary the emoji's race depending on the language or country.

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: Argh, nooo...

      The Unicode Consortium explicitly states in the Unicode Specification that the colour of the character is not part of the standard. Anyway you can always use ☻

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Argh, nooo...

        ☻ looks like someone wearing blackface. Black people aren't actually that black.

        1. JBowler

          Re: Argh, nooo...

          And white people aren't this white: :-), and, despite rumours to the contrary, we aren't always lying down and sleeping either.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Argh, nooo...

        That black smiley face has no nose and a creepy expression. I feel this represents the stereotypical image used for gollywogs and is therefore racist. I am not black myself but I can still find this offensive on behalf of me bruddas

        1. MrT

          Have a nice day...


      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Argh, nooo...

        That's an interesting one. The official description of that character is BLACK SMILING FACE, but BLACK doesn't actually mean "black" here; it means something like "solid" or "mostly foreground colour". So if you're using green text on an orange background then the face is mostly green. Some other characters from the same region are described as BLACK DIAMOND SUIT and BLACK CHESS PAWN. Again, BLACK means "solid" or "mostly foreground colour". The official PDF uses black text on a white background:


    "Personally, this reporter thinks using emojis is a crime in itself."

    "We'll let you know how we get on. ®"

    erm, what was the last character used in this article?

    1. ratfox

      whachoo talking about, Willis?

      ® is part of the enclosed alphanumerics block of Unicode. Very far from being an emoji.

  5. Steve Todd Silver badge

    They already do

    Orange, red and grey faces. It does smack of political correctness gone mad.

  6. Semtex451


    I have an emoticon (I'm too old to say emoji) for a coiled turd with eyes and a friendly smile.

    What I want to know is, why it never shows up when I send it to random Android users?

    What their shit don't smell?

    Mines the one with the sticky pockets.

  7. Amorous Cowherder

    The Simpsons?

    Yellow faces don't seemed to have harmed Groening's TV show popularity?

    Millions starving around the world, child abuse, sex slavery, etc and the West has it priorities bang-on when it starts using state of the art technology to argue about little yellow faces! FFS!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: The Simpsons?

      LIBERALS: They want to fix reality and purge it of offensiveness. And no problem shall be left behind except the ones they create themselves.

      1. Vociferous

        Re: The Simpsons?

        I'm a liberal but I have to admit that the culture of professional outrage is getting really, really, silly.

  8. Irongut

    So yellow smiley type characters are racist? Someone needs to tell these people to get a life.

    I would sign a petition to make emojis illegal in the UK.

  9. Flyberius

    Wow. To think I had problems.

  10. dannymot

    I wouldn't want to be the one to have to design ethnically diverse emoji's. Politically correct/stereotyping minefield.

  11. Vociferous

    Miley cements her reputation as the dumbest starlet.

    I hope she and Bieber get together and have lots of babies. We can never have enough vacuous bimbos in the world.

  12. Miek

    All the emoticons on my phone are little green people, go figure.

  13. Khaptain Silver badge

    All Hail El Reg

    Why is there not an El Reg emoticon ? I could be used to symbolise all the madness in the world. A bit like the Guy Fawkes = Anonymous relationship.

    El Reg = All of the world's madness rolled into a vulture.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional (wtf is this??)


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mohammed and Allah

    I want a Mohammed emoji and perhaps an Allah emoji as well.

    1. MrT

      Re: Mohammed and Allah

      ... I wouldn't want to be named as the artist on that character set... ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mohammed and Allah

      And while they're at it they could also make Budha, Krishna, Mozes etc. emoticons...

      1. Christoph

        Re: Mohammed and Allah

        Where is the Flying Spaghetti Monster icon?

  16. CT

    Oh no, Unicode Consortium taken over by cats

    Looking at the Unicode listing given in the link above:










    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Oh no, Unicode Consortium taken over by cats

      ...and to think: it's someone's job to manage that ^^^ list.

      // wonder how much they're paid?

      1. Tom 13

        Re: // wonder how much they're paid?

        1 cat vid per item updated.

  17. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Gotta love Apple

    Judge for yourself, here's the Unicode reference for the "Emoticons" range - horrors, there is one.

    Not seeing a lot of colour in those sample images, and not seeing a lot of racial profiling in the descriptions either - for example, U+1F60D is described as "FACE SAVOURING DELICIOUS FOOD", not "WHITE MALE FACE SAVOURING DELICIOUS AND INHERENTLY SUPERIOR NON-ASIAN FOOD AFTER CONQUERING AN INFERIOR PEOPLE AND TAKING THEIR OIL". Probably an emoticon you'd use a lot of.

    Perhaps they're still smarting from having their Apple logo banished to the private use area, or worse.

    Colour me U+1F632.

  18. thesykes


    Apple, Miley Cyrus, Twitter, emoji and MTV

    Think that list encapsulates the entire vacuous, air-headed, brainless bunch of worthless individuals on the planet.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Hmmm

      Not even close. But it might be a good start.

  19. Clinton


    Are these people serious? Apple's response is just as clueless as the original request. Unicode DOESN'T SPECIFY COLOUR! As has been mentioned above, all of my "emojis" are green.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Colour?


    2. ratfox

      Re: Colour?

      The original request is quite correct: Unicode does not specify color, which nobody complains about.

      What they complain about is that Apple had to choose for its font actual pictures of hundreds of faces; and these faces just happen to be all white. It's not so surprising people are complaining. Nowadays, it's pretty rare to see an illustration of a dozen "generic people" that are all white.

      Many other fonts skipped the problem by choosing non-realist colors, which is acceptable because they don't represent any race better than any other...

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Colour?

        I believe the petition was to Apple, and Apple could solve the problem by offering a choice of emoji fonts.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Colour?

          ... but instead they passed the buck to the Unicode consortium and will probably end up adding a few thousand more emoticons to the standard.

  20. thesykes

    Simple... trace all the people who support this pointless endeavour, take them out back, single bullet. It's the kind thing to do.

  21. hugo tyson

    Don't tell them about...

    ...sticking plasters. They seem available for pinkish-cream folks or them smurfs off of Avatar only....

    1. oddie

      Re: Don't tell them about...

      you forgot semi transparent ones for invisibles :)

      anyway, you'd be surprised.. just because they aren't readily available in majority-white countries doens't mean that they don't exist :) google 'brown plasters'.

      in fact, have a link :D

  22. Herby

    Need to add the DogCow as well.

    Now this should be a proper thing for Apple to do. See technical note 31 for specifics.

    I'm probably showing my age here.

  23. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I am so happy

    It is wonderful to think that there is nothing more important in the world than the alleged "colour" of a group of signals with arbitrary definitions.

    So nice to know that the heavy issues of last millennium like world peace, hunger, misery and sickness have been purged and we can devote ourselves to the rest of the necessary steps in improving our world : making sure the racists are properly reassured about "diversity".

  24. MooseNC

    Here ya go.

    Found the black guy.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Here ya go.

      His facial features are unacceptably stereotyped according to white racial prejudice.


  25. Chris G Silver badge

    Something annoying in a tree? give me my airgun!

    Noun: A Tweet: A weak chirping sound as of a small bird

    Verb: Tweet: Make a weak, chirping sound

    Twitter: A series of chirps ( short form Twit! : Someone who is regarded as contemptible)

    The above according to Word Web, basically noises of little impact or import, which pretty much describes the tweeting crowd.

    What we are really talking about is a load of vacuous, fluff for brains morons with so little to do that they have to invent shit like this to give their lives some meaning.

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Something annoying in a tree? give me my airgun!

      Yeah, but for reasons no one seems to understand, journalists absolutely LOVE twitter and cover every tiny, inconsequential, celebrity twitterfeud.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The emojis on my iPhone are yellowish, not pinkish. African Americans shouldn't complain any more than white people, as they resemble neither.

    If anyone should be bothered it should be Asians, as it plays into the "yellow devil" stereotype. But AFAIK this stuff mostly originated in Japan, so... A lot of them have very "slanty" looking eyes, as a matter of fact. If Apple had designed these itself they'd probably (and rightly) be called racist!

    What's scary is that Unicode is 32 bit, so they could add millions of these things to account for every possible skin tone if they try to please everyone. Hopefully Apple made the request to get them off their backs, knowing it will go nowhere.

  27. Mage Silver badge

    Oh Noes

    Only the symbol ones work from here

    Perhaps my OS is a strict Moslem?

  28. VeganVegan


    <Where is the Klingon script when you need it?></>

  29. ntlaws

    Is this serious?

    These people today need to really think about priorities and realize that there are for more things that they could use their Twitter accounts to raise awareness for. I actually like the idea of a non-racially identified emoji, instead of multiple that are identified to specific races.

  30. Diogenes

    Being of "middle eastern" appearance

    I want sort of olive/brown - I want bearded faces and non bearded and mustaches. While we are at it, how about a set of orthodox jewish ones (you know the ringlets & hat). Oo Oo also a full set ofniqab female faces - crying, smiling , surprised etc. Oo Oo what about sets of tattooed people as well for our Polynesian & Maori friends

    Ah to think that I have been on this earth for nearly 55 years, and until today I had never heard of emojis.

    1. SisterClamp

      Re: Being of "middle eastern" appearance

      Don't care about the colour but beards. Hmmmmm. I like beards.... purrrrrr........

  31. Jimboom

    They are the ones making it racist

    By highlighting the fact that there is a difference in the colour of these "things" and saying it is a problem they are in fact making it racist. As people have previously said, the emothingies are what the average 8-13 year old would think up and use. However, most normal kids (ie: ones not raised to care about skin colour and instead to judge people on their character) would not see this as a problem.

    By calling it out and saying how it is racist not to have these other colours they are in fact tainting any youths who don't even see this as an issue.

    Won't someone think of the children!?!

    1. NathanielFT

      Re: They are the ones making it racist

      That is so true.

      Wont somebody PLEASE think of the children!?!?!?!?!

  32. steve mold

    People of colour

    Talking of "People of Colour" where are the Emoji with Red Hair!?! I feel repressed as a people!

  33. Pat Att

    "People of colour"?

    Last time I looked, I have a colour (kinda pinkish). And when I look round the racially fairly diverse office, everyone there has a colour too. So surely, "people of colour" are just "people".

  34. NathanielFT

    You're taking advice from Miley Cyrus Now!?

    This is so stupid, emoji's are more about the emotions they are expressing, not the representation of a race wtf??? They are yellow, the only race that represents are the white people in The Simpsons.

    Never have I as a mixed race (jamaican, scottish) man had an issue with the colour of the emojis, and I have yet to hear about any black people i know or otherwise have a problem with this, people are just trying to be politically correct in areas it doesn't even matter or help anyone in any way - might want to deal with more severe racial issues in the world like racist activists (EDL, BNP, etc.), discrimination in the work place, at football matches, etc.

    And since when did anyone care what Miley Cyrus has got to say?! She starts whinin and twerking and has a new found love for black music and d*** and now she is the is the voice for equality for black people? In iPhone messages!?! GTFOH

    If they really do make black emojis, i want to see some brownish-beige ones or i'll kick off about the racial exclusion of me and my fellow hybrid brothers...

  35. k9gardner

    So many emojis missing, it's not even funny

    There's not even a bunny with a pancake on his head! Regardless of what color the bunny is, that's just cray.

  36. Hackbert

    Why can't we...

    ...come up with a Unicode extension so one can specify the actual pixels of a glyph? Or include them as JPEG? Next add mp3 and MPEG support to characters, together with smell?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the discrimination issue?

    The Linux users and Windows XP users will not be able to see the emoji. Especially the new ones in the Unicode 7.

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