Saudi Aramco’s promotional stunt, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, sparked outrage in which a migrant employer was dressed up as humanoid hand sanitizer deployer. Calling it a “gift from Aramco”, Saudi Arabia’s comedian and actor Hisham Fageeh shared the pictures of a non-Saudi man wearing a bodysuit with hand-sanitizer.
In the pictures shared on social media, the man can be seen wearing a mask with a bottle of hand sanitiser attached to his body and dispensing the liquid to passersby outside one of Aramco’s offices. The photographs went viral on the internet and social media slammed the oil company for allegedly practising slavery in the 21st century.
While the coronavirus scare has forced governments and companies to take drastic measures to contain the deadly disease, Aramco’s attempt to promote precaution and hygiene at the expense of the dignity of immigrant workers did not go down well with the netizens. Check out some of the reactions:
Slavery was never abolished here, just repackaged. https://t.co/W1gFWeWLVl— Naser (@NaserMestarihi) March 10, 2020
The humiliation & rendering of some lives as disposable apparently has no bounds. Aramco’s apology should be noted but the fact that someone in leadership thought this was appropriate to begin with speaks volumes about the public perception of migrant workers in the gulf. https://t.co/HOD21jjsxI— Laya Behbahani (@LayaBehbahani) March 11, 2020
The company immediately came into damage control mode and issued a statement expressing strong dissatisfaction with the “abusive behaviour”. Aramco said that the company immediately stopped the act and took “drastic measures” to prevent it from happening again.
“The company emphasizes that it is firm against compromising its values based on respect and adherence to ethics and conduct,” said Aramco on Twitter.