A Russian store chain apologized on Thursday for selling ‘Obama monkeys’ – chopping boards with an image of US President Barack Obama as a monkey, after the US embassy in Moscow objected.
The product features a family of monkeys, with an image of Obama’s face superimposed onto that of the smallest primate, the AFP reports.
The store chain management on Thursday announced it had pulled the products from its shelves.
“Sales of the chopping boards have been stopped,” Valentina Moiseyeva, a spokeswoman for the Bakhetle supermarket chain, TASS agency reported.
“We are sorry that such product was on our store shelves. For us it is unacceptable that a store is used as a place for political provocation,” Moiseyeva said, adding that the supermarket had lodged a formal complaint against the boards’ supplier.
The board is styled as a calendar for 2016, the year of the monkey according to the Chinese zodiac.
The Bakhetle chain is based in Russia’s traditionally Muslim region of Tatarstan but has stores throughout the country.
“Disgusting to see that such blatant racism has a place on Russian store shelves,” Will Stevens, the spokesman for the US Embassy in Moscow, wrote on Twitter.
Stevens later posted a picture of the chain’s apologetic comment, adding in a tweet: “Thank you to colleagues in Bakhetle for issuing an apology… We appreciate this.”