WASHING-UP sponges with Afro hairstyles have stirred up a race lather.
Makers Paladone claim the figures put fun into doing the dishes.
But equality campaigners have branded them racist. Unite Against Fascism general secretary Weyman Bennett said: “What are we going to have next, toilet brushes like that?
“This is not appropriate for the 21st Century to show images like that. It reinforces negative stereotypes and ideas.”
Mr Bennett said the items, whose characters include singer Diana Ross, 68, were a throwback to golliwogs and racist 1970s TV shows.
He said: “Although it’s aimed at being humorous, sometimes it’s not funny.
“We’ve spent 40 years removing racist imagery out of general politics, removing golliwogs, removing the Black And White Minstrels, and it would be a shame if it crept back in.”
Paladone said the line, which includes punks and 1960s-style beehives, had been a huge hit with customers.
A spokesman said: “Our range of four washing-up sponges are designed to make an everyday chore like washing-up more fun.”