Dummies: Sainsbury's apologises after dressing dummy as a slave to publicise 12 Years A Slave DVDs

The mannequin was at Sainsbury's, Heyford Hill

The mannequin was at Sainsbury's, Heyford Hill

First published in News
Last updated

A SUPERMARKET apologised yesterday after a mannequin was dressed as a slave in the shop entrance to publicise a film.

Shoppers were greeted by the unusual sight yesterday morning when they entered Sainsbury’s at Heyford Hill. It was to mark the home release of Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave.

The mannequin was dressed in clothes similar to those worn by central character Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The dummy was dressed in a beige shirt with black trousers, both with rips, and had a twig in its pocket.

It was published online by Twitter user John Sargeant , who tweeted: “If you are a slave to fashion, Sainsbury’s has it covered.

“Suggest (Sainsbury’s public relations) get on to this rather quick.”

The 11.55am post was followed about an hour an a half later by a reply from Sainsbury’s.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We can only apologise.

“It’s been taken down from the Heyford Hill store and clearly should never have gone up in the first place.”

Our top stories:

Six 'all clear' women told they have cancer after investigation into Oxfordshire Breast Screening Service assessments

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Thursday 18th December 2014

SIX women who were given the all clear after breast cancer screening have been told they have the disease following an investigation.

Crash involving car and cyclist closes road in Blackbird Leys

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:30pm Thursday 18th December 2014

A collision involving a cyclist and a car has taken place in Blackbird Leys, closing a road.

Man 'exposed himself' to woman at bus stop in St Clement's

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:02am Thursday 18th December 2014

A MAN who exposed himself to a woman in Headington is being sought by police.

Voting public save the Jack FM Christmas turkeys from being butchered

Oxford Mail:

10:04am Thursday 18th December 2014

THE FATE of two turkeys on an Oxfordshire farm this Christmas was decided by an online poll by radio station JACKfm.

Oxford United's young guns relishing Manchester City clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United’s rising stars will get a taste of the big time tonight as they attempt a giant-killing against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup (7).

Candlelight vigil in Oxford for victims of Peshawar massacre

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

FAMILIES gathered by candlelight at a vigil for youngsters and their teachers targeted in a Taliban terrorist attack.

Work on Banbury Road footpaths to take place

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

Resurfacing of the footpaths alongside Banbury Road is set to take place this week after a gas leak.

Bail in Bullfinch arrest

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

9:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

A man arrested as part of Operation Bullfinch has been bailed.

Amnesty leads to 85 guns being handed in at Oxfordshire police stations

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

9:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

Eighty-five guns were handed in to police stations across the county during a two-week surrender.

Fairytale Wallingford panto a sell-out success

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

IF you go down to the woods today...you won’t be able to get a ticket as this village panto is a box office sell- out.

Fracking in Witney would make Cameron ‘very happy’

Oxford Mail: NORTH VISIT: Prime Minister David Cameron at Ferguson's Transport in Cramlington

8:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

DAVID Cameron would be ‘very happy’ for fracking to come to Witney, he has told a Parliament committee.

County butchers say unusual festive fowl is on this year's Christmas menu

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

WITH just a week to go until we’re tucking into our Christmas dinner, the turkey preparations are well under way.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Police show soft side with delivery of Christmas gifts in Didcot

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

PEOPLE who are alone and vulnerable over Christmas have been given a helping hand by the police.

Comments (23)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:45am Tue 20 May 14

jonny1976 says...

Christ, what is the world coming to.
Christ, what is the world coming to. jonny1976
  • Score: 24

9:05am Tue 20 May 14

stayingafloat says...

jonny1976 wrote:
Christ, what is the world coming to.
I totally agree. The sad and pathetic PC brigade have been at it again.
[quote][p][bold]jonny1976[/bold] wrote: Christ, what is the world coming to.[/p][/quote]I totally agree. The sad and pathetic PC brigade have been at it again. stayingafloat
  • Score: 28

10:19am Tue 20 May 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.
While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: -1

10:31am Tue 20 May 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.
Why? Have you not seen dummies used in other promotions. This is back to the "must not cause offence to anyone" thinking that quite honestly I find bloody offensive itself. Think we should now all complain to Sainsburys that we are not happy it has been removed.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.[/p][/quote]Why? Have you not seen dummies used in other promotions. This is back to the "must not cause offence to anyone" thinking that quite honestly I find bloody offensive itself. Think we should now all complain to Sainsburys that we are not happy it has been removed. Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 29

10:41am Tue 20 May 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.
Why? Have you not seen dummies used in other promotions. This is back to the "must not cause offence to anyone" thinking that quite honestly I find bloody offensive itself. Think we should now all complain to Sainsburys that we are not happy it has been removed.
To promote a film about slavery, then no I haven't, have you ? Obviously with an issue such as slavery it was going to offend someone.
[quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.[/p][/quote]Why? Have you not seen dummies used in other promotions. This is back to the "must not cause offence to anyone" thinking that quite honestly I find bloody offensive itself. Think we should now all complain to Sainsburys that we are not happy it has been removed.[/p][/quote]To promote a film about slavery, then no I haven't, have you ? Obviously with an issue such as slavery it was going to offend someone. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: -10

11:47am Tue 20 May 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.
Why? Have you not seen dummies used in other promotions. This is back to the "must not cause offence to anyone" thinking that quite honestly I find bloody offensive itself. Think we should now all complain to Sainsburys that we are not happy it has been removed.
To promote a film about slavery, then no I haven't, have you ? Obviously with an issue such as slavery it was going to offend someone.
These days it seems that everything offends somebody - gone are the days, it seems, when everyone just got on with living their life. Personally I can't understand how anyone could find a dressed-up mannequin offensive even if it is promoting a DVD about slavery but if they do they must really find the film itself (and the awards it won) very offensive? I expect the mannequin was removed because of one Twitter comment, I doubt anyone actually complained, so a total overreaction by Sainsburys I think.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: While I agree that whoever complained needs to get out more in the real world whoever thought up the idea at Sainsbury's is a bit of a plank.[/p][/quote]Why? Have you not seen dummies used in other promotions. This is back to the "must not cause offence to anyone" thinking that quite honestly I find bloody offensive itself. Think we should now all complain to Sainsburys that we are not happy it has been removed.[/p][/quote]To promote a film about slavery, then no I haven't, have you ? Obviously with an issue such as slavery it was going to offend someone.[/p][/quote]These days it seems that everything offends somebody - gone are the days, it seems, when everyone just got on with living their life. Personally I can't understand how anyone could find a dressed-up mannequin offensive even if it is promoting a DVD about slavery but if they do they must really find the film itself (and the awards it won) very offensive? I expect the mannequin was removed because of one Twitter comment, I doubt anyone actually complained, so a total overreaction by Sainsburys I think. Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 21

12:02pm Tue 20 May 14

Myron Blatz says...

What next - making workers wear uniforms by Law, or does Health & Safety already do that, perhaps - are you fully-compliant with safety regs, while reading this, and do you wear a crash-helmet when using your tablet or smartphone?
What next - making workers wear uniforms by Law, or does Health & Safety already do that, perhaps - are you fully-compliant with safety regs, while reading this, and do you wear a crash-helmet when using your tablet or smartphone? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -2

12:33pm Tue 20 May 14

King Joke says...

I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?
I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero? King Joke
  • Score: -5

12:47pm Tue 20 May 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

King Joke wrote:
I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?
In a word - Yes. Why not. How about a pirate to promote Pirates of the Caribbean - offended? What's the difference, pirates were just as real even if the films weren't based on facts as the other two you mention.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?[/p][/quote]In a word - Yes. Why not. How about a pirate to promote Pirates of the Caribbean - offended? What's the difference, pirates were just as real even if the films weren't based on facts as the other two you mention. Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 10

5:58pm Tue 20 May 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

It's an awesome film, based on a true story.
It features some very graphic violence...which had me flinching, but it goes to show how badly slaves were treated, and by the end of it, I had a greater hatred for some humans, than I did before.
It beggars belief that slavery was common practice for so long, and if the mannequin convinced even one person to buy the film, then it served its purpose.
It's an awesome film, based on a true story. It features some very graphic violence...which had me flinching, but it goes to show how badly slaves were treated, and by the end of it, I had a greater hatred for some humans, than I did before. It beggars belief that slavery was common practice for so long, and if the mannequin convinced even one person to buy the film, then it served its purpose. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 3

6:08pm Tue 20 May 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

What's even more pathetic, is the fact that the mannequin was white.......
How can somebody be offended by a white dummy wearing a torn shirt and trousers?
What's even more pathetic, is the fact that the mannequin was white....... How can somebody be offended by a white dummy wearing a torn shirt and trousers? Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 4

6:57pm Tue 20 May 14

cheese&beans says...

Life is meant to be fun......stop getting upset with trivial things.
Life is meant to be fun......stop getting upset with trivial things. cheese&beans
  • Score: 2

8:27pm Tue 20 May 14

King Joke says...

Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
King Joke wrote:
I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?
In a word - Yes. Why not. How about a pirate to promote Pirates of the Caribbean - offended? What's the difference, pirates were just as real even if the films weren't based on facts as the other two you mention.
Piracy is no laughing matter - as anyone who sails around Somalia will attest - and wasn't in the past either. Pirates of the Carribean however is so far removed from reality, and portrayed as high-camp comedy, as to not be associated with the horrors which occurred.

The reason this display is tasteless is because it trivialises the subject matter. This is a serious film about a serious subject and should be treated with sensitivity.
[quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?[/p][/quote]In a word - Yes. Why not. How about a pirate to promote Pirates of the Caribbean - offended? What's the difference, pirates were just as real even if the films weren't based on facts as the other two you mention.[/p][/quote]Piracy is no laughing matter - as anyone who sails around Somalia will attest - and wasn't in the past either. Pirates of the Carribean however is so far removed from reality, and portrayed as high-camp comedy, as to not be associated with the horrors which occurred. The reason this display is tasteless is because it trivialises the subject matter. This is a serious film about a serious subject and should be treated with sensitivity. King Joke
  • Score: -6

8:38pm Tue 20 May 14

Jameslouis says...

What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story
What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story Jameslouis
  • Score: -1

7:24am Wed 21 May 14

stayingafloat says...

Jameslouis wrote:
What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story
Nice one. Plus you can also use your Nectar card or is that offensive to bees?
[quote][p][bold]Jameslouis[/bold] wrote: What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story[/p][/quote]Nice one. Plus you can also use your Nectar card or is that offensive to bees? stayingafloat
  • Score: 1

7:39am Wed 21 May 14

King Joke says...

stayingafloat wrote:
Jameslouis wrote:
What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story
Nice one. Plus you can also use your Nectar card or is that offensive to bees?
Go where and don't come back? Plenty of white, British, 'indigenous' etc people find trivialisation of slavery offensive.

By the way who are Politically, Cowards and Bullies? I presume these are names as you've capitalised them. 'Our country' has a language with a pretty simple set of grammatical rules, if you don't like them maybe you should live elsewhere? They capitalise all nouns in Germany, you'd like it there.
[quote][p][bold]stayingafloat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jameslouis[/bold] wrote: What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story[/p][/quote]Nice one. Plus you can also use your Nectar card or is that offensive to bees?[/p][/quote]Go where and don't come back? Plenty of white, British, 'indigenous' etc people find trivialisation of slavery offensive. By the way who are Politically, Cowards and Bullies? I presume these are names as you've capitalised them. 'Our country' has a language with a pretty simple set of grammatical rules, if you don't like them maybe you should live elsewhere? They capitalise all nouns in Germany, you'd like it there. King Joke
  • Score: 1

10:08am Wed 21 May 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

King Joke wrote:
stayingafloat wrote:
Jameslouis wrote:
What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story
Nice one. Plus you can also use your Nectar card or is that offensive to bees?
Go where and don't come back? Plenty of white, British, 'indigenous' etc people find trivialisation of slavery offensive.

By the way who are Politically, Cowards and Bullies? I presume these are names as you've capitalised them. 'Our country' has a language with a pretty simple set of grammatical rules, if you don't like them maybe you should live elsewhere? They capitalise all nouns in Germany, you'd like it there.
Don't mock the afflicted KJ - perhaps he didn't have the education that you and I had. Or maybe he just didn't listen or take it in.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stayingafloat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jameslouis[/bold] wrote: What the hell are you apologising to these people for its our country if the Politically correct Cowards or Bullies do not like it to bad if they do not like it catch the next train abroad and don't come back, it's our country and you will never stop us doing or saying things, end of story[/p][/quote]Nice one. Plus you can also use your Nectar card or is that offensive to bees?[/p][/quote]Go where and don't come back? Plenty of white, British, 'indigenous' etc people find trivialisation of slavery offensive. By the way who are Politically, Cowards and Bullies? I presume these are names as you've capitalised them. 'Our country' has a language with a pretty simple set of grammatical rules, if you don't like them maybe you should live elsewhere? They capitalise all nouns in Germany, you'd like it there.[/p][/quote]Don't mock the afflicted KJ - perhaps he didn't have the education that you and I had. Or maybe he just didn't listen or take it in. Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 2

10:21am Wed 21 May 14

King Joke says...

There was nothing special about my comprehensive school, then red-brick uni education. I do read books and newspapers though, and as you suggest MRW, I did take it in when elementary grammar rules were explained to me at school. I also love my country and its language, although I understand that some people are less bothered.
There was nothing special about my comprehensive school, then red-brick uni education. I do read books and newspapers though, and as you suggest MRW, I did take it in when elementary grammar rules were explained to me at school. I also love my country and its language, although I understand that some people are less bothered. King Joke
  • Score: -1

10:28am Wed 21 May 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

King Joke wrote:
There was nothing special about my comprehensive school, then red-brick uni education. I do read books and newspapers though, and as you suggest MRW, I did take it in when elementary grammar rules were explained to me at school. I also love my country and its language, although I understand that some people are less bothered.
At last - something we have in common and something we agree on!!
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: There was nothing special about my comprehensive school, then red-brick uni education. I do read books and newspapers though, and as you suggest MRW, I did take it in when elementary grammar rules were explained to me at school. I also love my country and its language, although I understand that some people are less bothered.[/p][/quote]At last - something we have in common and something we agree on!! Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: -2

9:47pm Wed 21 May 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

deedee444 wrote:
Get a room you 2 condescending ponces..........
Calm down, I was telling lies anyway. Secondry modern and starting work at age 15 well before comprehensives came about, that was me. Mind you, can't beat a bit of a wind-up can you.
[quote][p][bold]deedee444[/bold] wrote: Get a room you 2 condescending ponces..........[/p][/quote]Calm down, I was telling lies anyway. Secondry modern and starting work at age 15 well before comprehensives came about, that was me. Mind you, can't beat a bit of a wind-up can you. Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sat 24 May 14

Chriso123 says...

Good job they didn't see the picture of the black slave next to the mannequin.
Good job they didn't see the picture of the black slave next to the mannequin. Chriso123
  • Score: 1

2:30am Sun 25 May 14

The New Private Eye says...

King Joke wrote:
Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
King Joke wrote:
I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?
In a word - Yes. Why not. How about a pirate to promote Pirates of the Caribbean - offended? What's the difference, pirates were just as real even if the films weren't based on facts as the other two you mention.
Piracy is no laughing matter - as anyone who sails around Somalia will attest - and wasn't in the past either. Pirates of the Carribean however is so far removed from reality, and portrayed as high-camp comedy, as to not be associated with the horrors which occurred.

The reason this display is tasteless is because it trivialises the subject matter. This is a serious film about a serious subject and should be treated with sensitivity.
Sorry mate you are wrong. If you are so offended at the portrayal of a slave to advertise a film about a slave, then you should get out more.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I presume you'd all be happy with a mannequin in a stripey uniform being used to promote Schindler's List, or one dressed as an injured British soldier to promote Bravo Two Zero?[/p][/quote]In a word - Yes. Why not. How about a pirate to promote Pirates of the Caribbean - offended? What's the difference, pirates were just as real even if the films weren't based on facts as the other two you mention.[/p][/quote]Piracy is no laughing matter - as anyone who sails around Somalia will attest - and wasn't in the past either. Pirates of the Carribean however is so far removed from reality, and portrayed as high-camp comedy, as to not be associated with the horrors which occurred. The reason this display is tasteless is because it trivialises the subject matter. This is a serious film about a serious subject and should be treated with sensitivity.[/p][/quote]Sorry mate you are wrong. If you are so offended at the portrayal of a slave to advertise a film about a slave, then you should get out more. The New Private Eye
  • Score: 3

9:58pm Mon 26 May 14

King Joke says...

THere's a difference between 'portrayal' and 'trivialising' and in this instance the Sainsbury's staff were the wrong side of the line.
THere's a difference between 'portrayal' and 'trivialising' and in this instance the Sainsbury's staff were the wrong side of the line. King Joke
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree