MSC touted the MSC Seaside as the “first of a new generation of MSC ships with revolutionary architecture and cutting-edge technology” when it christened the ship in Miami last year.  USA TODAY explained that MSC specifically designed the MSC cruise ship to “appeal to American cruisers.”

But when U.S. passenger Laura Eka and her newlywed husband, Ebong,  boarded the MSC ship several weeks ago to celebrate their honeymoon, they were greeted by a caricature of a black person. Ms. Eka complained to MSC that she and her husband (who is black) felt “unwelcome and uncomfortable” by the blackface artwork.

MSC refused to acknowledge the racially insensitive artwork which it chose to display on its Miami-based cruise ship. So Ms. Eka went to Twitter to express her disgust with the racist caricature.

Blackface is an ugly part of United States history. Like Dixie flags which still fly over several southern states today, blackface is a symptom of racism. Blackface involves derogatory racial images like the “darky” icon with large, exaggerated red lips and bright, white teeth which became a common racist motif used in entertainment, cartoons, comic strips, postcards, and advertisements throughout American culture from the turn of the 1800’s to at least the 1960’s. It is totally inappropriate for any cruise line to use such an offensive image at this late date, particularly a cruise line catering to the American public.

Has MSC removed the “artwork” from the cruise ship by now?  I doubt it. But if it is still hanging on a wall somewhere on the ship, please let us know.  And don’t hesitate to take a photo and post it on Twitter. Let MSC know what you think of whether blackface appeals to American cruisers today.

Have a thought? Please leave one today or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

November 29, 2018 Update: Miami New Times covers the shameful incident: Honeymooners Shocked by Bizarre Blackface “Artwork” on New MSC Cruise Ship.

I realized that I confused the MSC Seaside with the MSC Seaview which contained the racist artwork in my article. Mea culpa!

Take a moment and read:

Money Mississippi & the Murder of Emmett Till

For a different perspective, read:

New York Times  Confronting Racist Objects

  • Lee smith

    There are things that we all consider offensive .Not everything should be removed because it is offensive to some or we would live in a very empty world. What is offensive to you may not be offensive me BUT what is offensive to me may not be offenaive to you. So which do we remove? What is offensive to you or what is offensive to me? I was on the MSC SEASIDE this past July and would not go back because of other issues we had. Like the man who’s young (maybe 15yr old) daughter had on a very skimpy thong and he thought it appropriate to grab her by the ankles ( while she was in a longe chair by the pool) and lift her legs over her head and spank her bottom teasingly. Which made us as an American family extremely uncomfortably. However we couldn’t ” remove” the family we found offensive.

  • CruiseLaw

    Lee, I do not understnad your analogy, but I assume you are not offended by racist caricatures? Or you not believe that blackface is racist and offensive?

  • CruiseGirl4Life

    I thought the theme was Miami’s Art Deco period; however the Black Face was used in the theatre by predominantly non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person, i.e., Al Jolsen. The ship’s interior designer/decorator failed and failed miserably. Take it down and contract the more culturally aware to deck your halls.

  • Kristy M Taylor

    Sorry, as a southern black woman, I find it to be hilarious!! If you think about it maybe your reading it wrong. See the white man wearing the blackface is holding the white ladies arm. The finely dressed man is laughing unknowingly. Maybe the only way ole boy could get any is by pretending he was black. Blondes love black men! Lmbo…and get offended if you want. Americans these days are offended by EVERYTHING!! I am a light skinned BLACK woman with waist curly hair and married to a WHITE Truck Driving man. Rebel flag curtains on 2 doors in my house and one on the front porch. I love studying about the Civil War. I get offended only by stupidity. Yall need to grow up! Thats just funny