For people of color, the word “chocolate” is weighted. It’s traditionally used as a term of endearment for women and men with darker skin, pegging them as desirable. But some take offense to it.
When Cadbury released an ad promoting their Dairy Milk Bliss bars that read “Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town,” Naomi Campbell was outraged. The supermodel threatened to sue the company and released the following statement: “I’m shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women. It is insulting and hurtful.”
Tika Sumpter feels differently. The “Sparkle” actress said Mike Epps, who also appears in the film, often called her “Chocolate” on set and she didn’t see it as negative:
“I think it’s a term of endearment. I don’t think it’s anything negative. Chocolate’s my favorite thing to eat. So I can’t live without it. And I know when Mike Epps says it, he’s just like ‘emph! Look, if Tyler Perry wants to pay me the money to call me ‘chocolate’ and be an ass, I’m cool with it.”
While “chocolate” does objectify, if the sentiment is positive and flattering, I don’t necessarily find it offensive.