Do You Think Emojis Should Be More Ethnically Diverse? Apple And Miley Say Yes

Apple is planning to update the emoji characters used in iOS and OS X soft keyboards with a new, more diverse selection of characters.

Cover image via

There Are Over 800 Emojis But Still There's A Lack Of Minority Representation, As In Not Enough Ethnically Diverse Emoticons

Image via

There are some curious emojis available to iOS 7 users, including eggplants, bloody needles, airplane chairs and snails. But among the more than 800 texting icons, there isn't much ethnic diversity.

Many, Including Miley Cyrus And Tahj Mowry, Have Spoken Out About Emojis' Tendency To Skew Toward One Racial Demographic - Caucasian

Image via
Image via

It All Started When Sephora's Official Twitter Account Called For More Colours Of The Nail Painting Emoji

Miley, who apparently follows the cosmetics retailer, saw the tweet and used it as an opportunity to call out a more gaping omission.
Image via

So, Diversity-Minded Texters Are Now Actually Trying To Do Something About The Emoticon Racism Issue, By Petitioning Apple To Add More People Of Colour To Its Emoji Keyboard

A petition on Do Something is asking Apple to add more diversity to its emoji lineup by adding "at least four faces with melanin (a man, a woman, a boy, and a girl) to the emoji keyboard."

The apparent lack of diversity in emoticons is causing a stir, led by, of all people, Miley Cyrus.

Image via

From the petition: If you look at Apple’s emoji keyboard, what do you see? Two different camels. A smiling turd. EVERY PHASE OF THE MOON. 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.

"If these Emoji are going to be the texting and Twitter standard, we think it’d be cool if they better reflected the diversity of the people using them," argues a petition currently up on

Granted, Apple Doesn't Own Emoji. The Cute Little Icons Originated In Japan And For A Time Were Only Available There

Then in 2010, hundreds of Emoji were added to the Unicode Standard, making them available in the US and other countries, and soon afterward Apple made its version, iEmoji, available on iOS. Apple added icons and colour to the iPhone's Emoji selection. Just not enough colour.

Apple Adds Gay and Lesbian Couple Icons to iOS 6

Image via

When iOS6 came out, last June, Apple added the first gay and lesbian couples to its emoji palette. Considering the social media firestorm over racist Emoji up until that point, it does seem strange that Apple didn't take that moment of cultural diversity to add some black people, too.

So The Tech World Has Come To This - The Apparent Lack Of Diversity In Emoticons Is Causing A Stir

After MTV Act's Joey Parker got in on the act with a recent email to Apple's Tim Cook about the controversy the clock began ticking on a response and Apple quickly vowed to update its emoji character collection in all iOS-based devices.

The Official Response To Parker From Apple's Public Relations Guru Katie Cotton was:

"Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," she said. "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."

But, As We Know, Emojis Aren't Something Apple Creates Or Has Final Say Over

Since Unicode provides the options and standards on emojis for several tech companies (including Microsoft and Google), it ultimately will decide on any new ones and when they would be rolled out.

According To Reports, Unicode Has Not Said On The Issue

Image via

But, Long Story Short, The World Will Likely Have More Diverse Emojis — At Some Point. YAY!