Volkswagen Superbowl Ad Racist?
1/31/2013 1:21:00 PM
Well, the usual suspects have been out in force for the past 24 hours calling the new Volkswagen Superbowl ad "culturally insensitive," "offensive," and yes, "racist."
The commercial features a midwestern white guy trying to perk his office up with a cheery attitude and a Jamaican accent, mon! Eventually, other office mates end up speaking in a cherry Jamaican patois after a ride in the guy's VW Bug.
It must have been like someone pissing in their multi-cultural Cheerios when Jamaica endorsed the ad earlier today!
That's right. Jamaica's minister of tourism and entertainment released a statement saying the ad is "a tribute to the popularity of reggae music worldwide and I salute Jimmy Cliff for being a true Jamaican ambassador through his outstanding music. I urge persons all across the globe to do exactly what the commercial portrays, which is to tap into your inner Jamaican and get happy,"
I suspect that even that endorsement will not quiet the humorless critics. Pia Glenn at The Daily Beast said this morning, "Clearly, I am not smiling. I am instead thinking of how to explain to my young nieces why this white man sounds like Grandpa but doesn’t look like Grandpa, and why in fact no one in this whole commercial looks like him, or them, or me. Or Us."
This reminds me of the complaints I used to get over billboards for a radio station in another city. In one of them, I was wearing a bra with handcuffs and duct tape over my mouth while being whipped by my female morning show partner. I was frequently asked, "What should I tell my children when they see that!"
There's a simple answer, and it works for the billboard and the VW ad: "Honey, they're just having fun and being silly."
Is that so hard?
here it was