Tags: apple | emojis | diverse

Apple Emojis to Become More Diverse, Company Says

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 02:34 PM

By Clyde Hughes

Apple users will be pleased to hear that emojis, the cartoonish emoticons available on iPhones, iPads, and Macintosh computers and laptops, will soon be more diverse.

Apple Corporate Communications Vice President Katie Cotton told MTV Act on Tuesday there will soon be a new selection of emojis, as most of the current icons depict white people.

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"Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," Cotton wrote in an e-mail. "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."

The issue about Apple's 800-plus set of emojis has been brought up before.

Fast Company reported in August that an online petition was created asking Apple to diversify its collection of emojis.

"But of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban," the petition said. "There's a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we're pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there's a staggering lack of minority representation. 

"That’s why we're asking Apple to take the lead again and diversify their Emoji typeface, recognizing people of color as people ... and Emojis. Everyone deserves to feel visible and represented," the petition continued.

Apple has not announced an official rollout date for the new emojis.

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