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A Russian sushi chain has come under fire for an advertising campaign that included a Black male.
The Krasnoyarsk-based company YobiDoyobi uploaded an image of the man surrounded by three Caucasian women who are all happily eating sushi.
It's a pretty innocent looking image, however it was criticised by Russian ultra-conservatives and there were some serious threats made against the company and the models involved in the photoshoot.
Vladislav Pozdnyakov, leader of the 'Male State', a nationalist anti-woman movement, posted the advert to his followers and that whipped up a frenzy like no other.
People started leaving bad reviews on the company's profile and members of the Male State managed to track down the identities of the women in the advert and posted them online.
He also encouraged his followers to order food and then refuse to pay in order to hurt the business.
The sushi chain initially decided to rise above the criticism, however eventually bowed to the pressure.
Yobidoyobi co-founder Konstantin Zimen issued a statement apologising for the inclusion of the Black man in the promotional campaign.
The company wrote on Instagram: "On behalf of the entire company, we want to apologize for touching the public with our photos. We have removed all content that caused this hype.
"First of all, we want to make a quality product that pleases our customers."
He added to the Inc. Russian news outlet: "Yobidoyobi is known for its provocative marketing, but this time we did not pursue these goals - we just made a very ordinary promo for social networks.
"Many brands use images of different models, which may differ in skin colour, gender, and so on.
"There was no provocation in this - it is just the voice of the times. I am sorry that someone thinks that a photo of a Black man (especially next to supposedly "Slavic" girls) on the Internet is unacceptable."
A new advert has been posted on their Instagram that features a Caucasian man and woman surrounded by sushi.
Pozdnyakov is a divisive figure in the country and led a hate campaign against the Russian bride of a Nigerian student who drowned while rescuing a swimmer in the Kaliningrad region.
His Male State group once had 150,000 members at its peak, according to The Moscow Times. He was convicted of hatred towards women, but his suspended sentence was overturned in 2019.
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