Remove Racist Ringtones from the iTunes Store

Remove Racist Ringtones from the iTunes Store

July 11, 2015
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This petition made change with 2,269 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Kate Antoniades

*SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES FROM 8/10/15 and 8/14/15*

[original petition below]

Right now in Apple's iTunes Store, you can buy racist ringtones for $1.29 a pop. Here's a prime example: The "Asian Hello" ringtone from "Asian Andy" -- available in the iTunes Store since 2011 -- begins with a man saying, "Your phone linging! Your phone linging! You pick up phone!" in a mock "Asian" accent. This ringtone, and the other "Asian Andy" ringtones in the iTunes Store, are unquestionably racist and offensive. They perpetuate old, tired stereotypes about the way East Asian people speak English, and Apple should be ashamed to profit from their ongoing sales.

My son is biracial -- my British-born husband is Chinese and I am white. My husband's parents are UK immigrants who speak English as a second language. While it's part of my job as a parent to talk with my child about the prejudice and ignorance that exists in the world, it's harder to explain to my 5-year-old son why a major multinational company like Apple (who recently committed $50 million to its diversity efforts, and celebrates diversity on its website) would support this kind of blatant racism against people like his grandmother and grandfather.

There is simply no reason to include content like this in the iTunes Store. Clearly, these ringtones have zero educational value or artistic merit, and their sole purpose is to mock a particular group of people. Finally, this content doesn't even meet the requirements spelled out in Apple's rules for other content they sell, yet the ringtones are permitted nonetheless:

  • From the App Store review guidelines
    "Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited [...] will be rejected."

Apple should use the same criteria for the ringtones that they distribute, and they should immediately remove these racist ringtones from the iTunes Store.


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Decision Makers

  • Apple
  • Tim CookCEO, Apple
  • Arthur D. Levinson, PhDChairman of the Board, Apple