Mother accuses Matalan of making mixed-race cartoon character look white

A mother has accused clothing retailer Matalan of turning a mixed race cartoon character white on children’s pyjamas.

Nekeshia Bentley, from Reading, Berkshire, was horrified when she saw the TV princess given lighter skin on the £10 item.

The Nickelodeon character, which was launched last year, has a black father and a white mother in her storyline.

Ms Bentley, 29, who bought the pyjamas for her daughter Myema, five, said: ‘It’s either a massive mistake or a case of sub-conscious racism.

Nekeshia Bentley and daughter Myema, five, holding the pyjamas and a book, clearly showing the contrasting images

Nekeshia Bentley and daughter Myema, five, holding the pyjamas and a book, clearly showing the contrasting images

Nekeshia Bentley and daughter Myema, five, holding the pyjamas and a book, clearly showing the contrasting images

Nekeshia Bentley, from Reading, Berkshire, was horrified when she saw the TV princess given lighter skin on the £10 item (pictured)

Nekeshia Bentley, from Reading, Berkshire, was horrified when she saw the TV princess given lighter skin on the £10 item (pictured)

Nekeshia Bentley, from Reading, Berkshire, was horrified when she saw the TV princess given lighter skin on the £10 item (pictured)

‘Either way it is out of order.

‘My daughter loves Nella. She watches the show all the time and pretends to be Nella, trying to do everything she does.

‘She is a good, strong model. I’ve no idea why Matalan whitened the character – they need to explain. 

‘I thought it may have been the way it looked on the website, but it was the same in the shop — she looked white.’

The Nickelodeon character (pictured) which was launched last year, has a black father and a white mother in her storyline

The Nickelodeon character (pictured) which was launched last year, has a black father and a white mother in her storyline

The Nickelodeon character (pictured) which was launched last year, has a black father and a white mother in her storyline

Nickelodeon said it made her mixed race because it was ‘representative of what the world looks like to kids today,’ The Sun reports.

The hit TV show follows Nella as she turns in the ‘princess knight’ and saves the people who live in her parent’s kingdom.

Ms Bentley added: ‘Both Nyemah and I are black British Caribbean. 

‘She has toys of all ethnicities but she gravitates towards toys that look like her.’

A spokesman for Nickelodeon said: ‘This product doesn’t accurately represent Nella in the same way that millions of children see her on Nickelodeon screens worldwide. 

‘We believe there potentially was an issue somewhere in the manufacturing process, of which we are investigating.’ 

A spokesman for Matalan said: ‘We are really sorry to hear of this concern regarding the Nickelodeon character pyjama set. 

‘We are working closely with Nickelodeon and our supplier to address these concerns. 

‘Customer feedback is extremely important to us at Matalan and all feedback is taken seriously.’

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