Naomi Osaka wants clarity with sponsor after 'whitewash' controversy
Last Updated: 25/01/19 7:12am
Naomi Osaka has urged a sponsor to liaise with her about future adverts after the company was accused of "whitewashing" the tennis star.
Japanese noodle-maker Nissin issued an apology on Thursday and subsequently removed an advert which portrayed Osaka with pale skin.
Speaking after her Australian Open semi-final victory over Karolina Pliskova in Melbourne, Osaka said: "I've talked to them. They've apologised. I don't think they did it on purpose to be, like, whitewashing or anything.
"But I definitely think that the next time they try to portray me, I feel like they should talk to me about it."
Nissin spokesperson Daisuke Okabayashi said: "We never had the intention to do what is known as 'whitewashing', but with this becoming an issue, we will pay more attention to respect for diversity in our PR activities."
Osaka, who has a Japanese mother, a Haitian father and was raised in the United States, is bidding for a second consecutive Grand Slam title after winning the US Open in September last year.
The 21-year-old hit an impressive 56 winners to beat Pliskova in three sets and will now meet eighth-seed Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open final.
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