TORONTO – Some Calgary residents expressed concerns over Friday’s Google Doodle, which featured five animated characters bobbing up and down in a body of water, as the city faced a local state of emergency due to rising flood waters.
The doodle was designed to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, by showing a favourite summer pastime – swimming.
The animation shows five swimmers, clad in bathing caps, bobbing up and down in the water. The doodle even features an animated wave that passes over each swimmer.
But residents of Calgary, and across southern Alberta, said the doodle was offensive as some evacuees literally swam from their homes and landmarks such as Calgary’s Saddledome were almost completed flooded.
Flood waters in southern Alberta have forced thousands of people to higher ground and prompted 1,200 soldiers to be sent to provide humanitarian aid.
Online reaction to the Google Doodle picked up after the city of Calgary began a controlled evacuation of the entire downtown core.
“Is this some sort of sick joke? #google #yycflood,” tweeted Twitter user @Kaso_31.
GlobalNews.ca received a number of emails from viewers concerned about the Google Doodle, many saying they found it to be in “poor taste.”
Google responded to a request for comment from Global News regarding the controversy over the Google Doodle.
“Our thoughts are with Alberta and all Albertans to stay safe and dry in these floods. This is a global doodle visible everywhere in the northern hemisphere for the summer solstice,” a Google spokesperson told Global News.
Google Canada also addressed the ongoing flooding in Alberta Friday morning on their Twitter account saying, “All our thoughts with #Alberta and Albertans to stay safe and dry through this unbelievable flooding.”