Emojis in iOS 7 are a hoot. You may not have an idea where in your conversations will make you use emojis of eggplants and snails, but there is one obvious thing that developers of these cutesy tiny icons seem to have overlooked.
Most of those texting icons that feature people belong to one race: Caucasian. Emojis of other races, meanwhile, get the stereotype treatment (a turban for a brown-skinned man; a mandarin cap on an Asian face). Celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, expressed their frustration for lack of ethnic diversity among emojis.
“RT if you think there needs to be an #emojiethnicityupdate,” Cyrus tweeted over a year ago.
“It makes me mad that there are no black emojis,” actor Tahj Mowry posted recently on the microblogging service.
In reaction, Apple has said they are aware of the problem and they plan on providing ethnically diverse emoji options to users, but there is a snag.
“Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms,” Katie Cotton, Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications, said in an interview with MTV. “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.”
As stated, in order to diversify the emoji’s races, there has to be an update in Unicode standards before tech companies (including Apple, Microsoft, and Google) would pick them up. The Unicode Consortium, however, has no word on when such update will happen.