Volkswagen Super Bowl Ad Called Racist – Really? C’mon Now [POLL]
I never get hot and bothered over Super Bowl commercials.
While pop culturists look forward to them, to me, while some are fairly creative, I think most are just media hype in order to justify the 4 million or so dollars advertisers will be spending to air them.
However one commercial has some up in arms over claims it’s racist…claiming it’s ‘blackface with voices’.
The controversial ad features a jovial white office worker speaking to disgruntled colleagues with a thick Jamaican accent.
The spot has already elicited intense criticism with one prominent essayist calling the ad, “blackface with voices.”
In the one-minute advertisement, which is thought to have cost the carmaker $8 million for the airtime, a group of unhappy employees are shown standing in an elevator complaining about it being Monday.
Behind them, a young, spirited, white employee turns to them and says, “no worries, man, everything will be alright,” in a heavy Jamaican accent.
In another scene, an annoyed worker is seen pounding at a vending machine.
The man tells him, “Don’t fret, my brother, sticky bun come soon,” again in the Jamaican accent.
At one point a confused colleague confirms that the employee is, in fact, from Minnesota.
“Yessa, the land of 10,000 lakes. The Gopher State,” he responds in the accent.
At the end of the spot, the man is seen driving away from the office in his Volkswagen car with two of his colleagues, who upon arriving at their destination, spout similarly optimistic phrases in the same Jamaican accent.
The ad prompted a barrage of critics to accuse Volkswagen of being racist.
“This is so racist,” Barbara Lippert, editor-at-large of Mediapost.com, said on TODAY. "It's just saying, 'Black people are happy.'"
And during a segment on CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, columnist Charles Blow said the ad was “like blackface with voices. I don’t like that.”
For its part Volkswagen representatives told CNN that the company consulted with 100 Jamaicans and a speech coach to make sure they weren’t being offensive.
I can’t believe it! Racist!? C’mon now!
Where’s our sense of humor?
What it is…to me at least, is a take off of the Bobby McFerrin character in the song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy…which perhaps they should have used in the background.
Although God knows what kind of backlash THAT would have prompted.
How do you feel?
Do you feel the VW Superbowl commercial depicting a white guy speaking with a Jamaican accent to be racist?