In response to celebrity tweets about a lack of emoji diversity among Apple’s 400-plus emojis, MTV Act contacted Apple to inquire if the company had any plans for an update.
RT if you think there needs to be an #emojiethnicityupdate
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) December 19, 2012
It makes me mad that there are no black emojis…
— Tahj Mowry (@Tahj_Mowry) March 16, 2014
Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications, Katie Cotton, responded within a day:
“Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”
Though Apple did not provide a rollout date, MTV Act says they’re “stoked.” They also pointed to the comments section following a Fast Company story titled “Are Emoji Racist?” that is flooded with notes about people becoming “too sensitive” these days. Indeed, while America has come a long way in terms of racial equality, much more can be done. According to a 2013 Pew survey, one in three black Americans said they were treated unfairly within the last year because of perceptions of their race.
“Although it may ‘just’ be an emoji,” says MTV, “representation of all races and genders is an important part of working towards a more equal society.”
*image credit: change.org