Bank Of Canada Edits Out ‘Asian’ Scientist On $100 Bill
August 20, 2012
Documents recently obtained by The Canadian Press have revealed that early drafts of the new $100 bill once depicted an Asian-looking woman scientist on the banknote.
AsianScientist (Aug. 20, 2012) – Documents recently made public by The Canadian Press have revealed that early drafts of the new $100 bill once depicted an Asian-looking woman scientist on the banknote.
The ‘Asian’ ethnicity of the scientist was later edited out following feedback from focus groups.
The new $100 polymer bill, which also carries an image of a bottle of insulin, is intended to highlight Canada’s contributions to medical science.
The bills were introduced into circulation in November 2011 to stem a sharp increase in counterfeiting of existing cotton fiber banknotes using home scanners and printers.
According to the newly-released documents, the focus groups were carried out in October 2009 by The Strategic Counsel, a Canadian company that carries out market research and conducts opinion polls.
While Toronto groups considered the image of an Asian scientist to be “positive” because “it is seen to represent diversity or multiculturalism,” Quebec and Fredericton groups objected to the inclusion of a scientist who appeared to be of Asian descent.
“Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian,” said a 2009 report commissioned by the Bank of Canada from The Strategic Counsel, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
“Some believe that it presents a stereotype of Asians excelling in technology and/or the sciences. Others feel that an Asian should not be the only ethnicity represented on the banknotes. Other ethnicities should also be shown.”
Bank of Canada spokesman Jeremy Harrison later confirmed that the image was modified before its release to the public, to “fit with Bank of Canada policy of not highlighting specific ethnicities.”
The Chinese Canadian National Council held a news conference in Toronto on Friday questioning the Bank’s decision.
“It’s our position that the Bank caved to the criticism and that’s really unfortunate,” said Victor Wong, national executive director of the Chinese Canadian National Council.
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