Apple has finally decided to update its list of emojis. However, some users have expressed concerns about racial stereotypes as some of the new emojis have skin tones that range from brown to bright yellow. The Huffington Post decided to investigate the bright yellow emojis, asking "Are they Asian stereotypes? Are they jaundiced? What's the deal?"
All emojis are created by the Unicode Consortium, an small group that sets rules and guidelines about how characters will display on different platforms. Unicode essentially designs the emoji, but has no say in how the emjoi will display on different platforms or devices.
A Unicode rep told the Huffington Post that emojis are only published in black and white. Anything beyond that is an adaptation created by the software or vendor. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment to the Huffington Post.
If the people who designed the emojis can't be blamed, what's the real problem? According to the Huffington Post, it's the variation of emojis that are reflected through different devices,
“When emojis were enabled on Android Jelly Bean years ago, they looked like little black robots. On iOS devices, they look like round smiley faces, while on Google Hangouts they're a bit like gumdrops.”
While some of the emojis appear with yellow skin tones, the color is not designed to be a tone at all. Instead, it's supposed to be a default color designed for all devices.
When addressing the issue of diversity, Unicode designed color swatches that correspond with five different skin tones, which also have codes. These codes were designed to be paired with an existing emoji. For example, "U+1F3FF," exists as the code for a "very dark skin."
It sounds like Apple meant for these bright yellow emojis to be the generic versions!