This is weird-ass news out of the north... Last November, the Bank of Canada started circulating a new $100 banknote. They're made of plastic polymer, and are extremely difficult to counterfeit. Yay.
So get this. One of the original images intended for the design showed an "Asian-looking" woman scientist peering into a microscope -- meant to celebrate Canada's medical innovations.
But focus groups were reportedly unhappy with the researcher's Asian appearance, so the bank eventually had the image redrawn to represent a more "neutral" ethnicity: Asian-looking woman scientist image rejected for $100 bills.
"Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian," says a 2009 report commissioned by the bank from The Strategic Counsel, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.I'm not joking. The stupid people in these focus groups actually complained about this shit. Apparently enough to compel the Bank of Canada to change it. (Groups in Toronto were reportedly cool with the Asian woman. Quebec and Fredericton, not so much.)
"Some believe that it presents a stereotype of Asians excelling in technology and/or the sciences. Others feel that an Asian should not be the only ethnicity represented on the banknotes. Other ethnicities should also be shown."
A few even said the yellow-brown colour of the $100 banknote reinforced the perception the woman was Asian, and "racialized" the note.
There are a couple of flimsy alternative reasons offered -- sure, there is a stereotype of Asians excelling in math or science. But let's be real. The reason why people didn't want an Asian-looking woman on the $100 bill is because an Asian-looking woman couldn't possibly represent a face of Canada. Thus, the rush to redesign her with more Caucasian features.
Damn, it's racebending on a banknote.