Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is VW Ad is “like blackface with voices”?

The VW ad that features a happy white man with a Jamaican accent has the racial grievance industry is out in full force.  On CNN, columnist Charles Blow declared that the ad was “like blackface with voices. I don’t like that.”
"It's pretty horrific," says Ricki Fairley-Brown, president of the multicultural marketing agency Dove Marketing. "Why do they have a white guy from Minnesota faking a Jamaican accent?"

Even more troubled by the spot is Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, chief hispanic marketing strategist at Walton Isaacson, an African-American, Gay/Lesbian and Hispanic agency. "What happens in this ad is that the culture becomes a punch line, and that is offensive."

Pop cultural guru Barbara Lippert is not amused, either. "It made me uncomfortable to see all of those white people in an office setting doing this," she says. "I found it offensive." [Emph. added]
Before becoming outraged by the racism, none of the worthies quoted above seems to have asked the Jamaicans for their opinion.  USA Today did:
Wykeham McNeill [is] Jamaica's minister of tourism and entertainment. "We view it as a compliment," says McNeill. "People should get into their inner Jamaica and get happy." He's even negotiating with VW for some sort of co-branding. {Emph. added]
So, Jamaica likes it and the grievance mongers have beclowned themselves again.

Here is the ad so you can make your own mind:

Hat tip: BotW.

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