(WXIA) -- Dunkin Donuts was left red-faced after an ad for the chain's Thailand restaurants showed a smiling woman in blackface makeup.

The Thailand ad was for the chain's new chocolate-flavored "Charcoal Donut" and featured an image reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols of a racist era.

The American-based Dunkin Donuts offered an apology via Twitter after a social media backlash against the chain.

Dunkin' Donuts' CEO in Thailand, Nadim Salhani, dismissed the criticism as "paranoid American thinking" and called it "absolutely ridiculous."

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