The hashtag #Ich_wurde_geHORNBACHt, which can be translated as “I was HORNBACHed,” is spreading on social media as users are sharing their disgust at a German DIY chain’s recent advertisement, they’ve slam as “racist,” “sexist” and “insulting” to Asian women. The video with a slogan “That’s how spring smells” opens with shots of Caucasian-looking men, working hard and sweating in the garden. They take off their clothes and hand it to men resembling lab assistants.
The things, including underwear, are packed into small bags on what looks like an assembly line. After a cut, a viewer sees a vending machine with these packed undies in an urban setting and an Asian-looking woman, who buys one bag and smells what is inside with visible enjoyment.
After the video was published, numerous comments came in from Asian women, who felt disgusted and insulted by the commercial.
This is yet another proof that you are racist/sexist against Asian women. How many more asian female voices will you need to take us seriously and be aware of your thoughtless deeds and apologize? or just one white male voice would do? #Ich_wurde_geHORNBACHt— Mia (@resilientmia) March 26, 2019
#Ich_wurde_geHORNBACHt— 봉봉 (@b0n9b0n9_) March 28, 2019
Asian women are not a tool to fulfill your underdeveloped self-esteem. We Asians do not make shit out of white men getting horny from some odorous crap that you call “the spring smell”.
Some expressed their anger and disgust with gifs.
뭐여 이게 이게 무슨 짓인겨? 워….토하는 이모티콘 어디갔나?????????????????😷😱😨😫😓😬 pic.twitter.com/6FxBDRP7EV— 우주의몽지 (@Mongongo_chuchu) March 26, 2019
Many accused Hornbach of simply being racist and promoting stereotypes about Asian women.
YOU DIRTY RACISTS.— 팬로맨틱 여름숲 (@BeanPtn61077) March 26, 2019
It seems that you did not learn anything from your own country's history.
It's very disgusting 🤮 AND ASIAN WOMEN ARE NOT SILENT OR OBEDIENT#Ich_wurde_geHORNBACHt
Some decided to respond with reverse racism, claiming white people smell disgusting.
Wow…German's spring smell like sweat? How do ppl live in there in spring??? Disgusting… pic.twitter.com/p3kLUcen56— 매실 (@yimmaesil) March 27, 2019
Besides this, an online petition has been set up demanding a public apology from Hornbach and the removal of the video. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition has gained about 1,000 signatures.
The German firm has defended the ad and refuted any allegations that their message was racist in a series of tweets. According to the company, it was about the “decreasing quality of life in cities”.
Our ad is not racist. View the ad as a discourse on the increasing urbanization and decreasing quality of life in cities. The smell of the spring only available in vending machines. For everyone. Not only asian people. pic.twitter.com/XhlOhhgpwI— Hornbach (@Hornbach_tweets) March 26, 2019
The explanation did not satisfy users, who also accused Hornbach of promoting insults towards Asian women.
You are nothing but racists who addicted to anime porn. The facial expression of Asian woman is discusting, and your ad pushed white men to insult Asain women in this way. A lot of Asian women already have been attacked from white men like you at this moment.— Nam Myoung-Hee (@worrynet) March 27, 2019