radike samo gi Blackface backfires for Qantas airlinesAustralian airline carrier Qantas is in a bit of hot water after awarding a contest prize to two men in blackface.

The airline asked Aussies to send in pictures of their best show of support for the Australian national rugby team. The winners painted their faces black and donned wigs, allegedly to honor popular player Radike Samo (pictured at left), a black player from Fiji.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Qantas pulled the ad but initially failed to apologize, which touched off a firestorm on social media networks. Then, the airline tweeted this message:

“We understand it caused offense to some people, which is why it was removed. We are really sorry if it has upset anyone.”

But that mainly drew ire from Twitter users who accused the airline of making a “faux-pology.”

Qantas followed up with a more thorough tweet: “We apologise that the photo of two Radike fans offended some of our followers.”

Which, predictably, just fanned the flames more.

Our suggestion: Go back to the whole Koala bear campaign. 

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson