Saturday, December 10, 2011

Racist Commercial

Recently on TV I saw this

The commerical I saw was the first 30 seconds of the youtube clip I just linked, I guess there's a longer version or a different one? Regardless, it should be clear what is very wrong and very racist with this advertisement.

First, the language. Can someone please confirm what language they're speaking? Because if the commentor both on the YT link and elsewhere are true - it's a fake language. I might add it's a bit fucked up they put subtitles in - not only when it's a fake language - but when the Asian characters are speaking English. The subtitles are even "ungrammatical" to really really DRIVE the point home - these are "ignorant foreigners" ('why they so busy over there'). The description on the link even says "Watch as Sumo Sam and his waiter discover the secret of Alfa One Rice Bran Oil."

Secondly, Asian male roles typically encompass these stereotypes: the "goof", martial artist, have an ancient/ethereal way of living, highly intelligent loner who "can't get a girl", and almost always heavily accented. Think Toshi from American Dad.

This commercial fills most of those stereotypes - they even have a gong sound effect a few times throughout.

Now, there's nothing wrong with having an accent or not speaking English, or not having English as your first language. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong when it's perpetuated as a negative trait in the media, such as in this commercial.

They are associating ignorance with the "other", the accented-English-speaking/fake Asian language/"needing subtitles", non white characters. They make a direct negative connection between the Asian men and their empty restaraunt to their failure to use this healthier, smarter product where, surprise, the white male characters' restaraunts use and they are packed with customers.

I understand the basic concept: Our product is a secret, from a restaraunts standpoint, if you use our product (the target demographic I'm guessing is soewhere with large/mass production compared to at-home cooking) you'll bring in/keep/have happy customers because the food will be amazing. blahblahblahbullshitbullshitbullsiht. Advertising 101.

There could have been sooo many different ways to show this, so many different ideas, presentations. But no. It took a series of meetings, and people in a series of groups and discussions to come with this racism.

Alfa One Rice Bran Oil, shame on you.
This was the only link I can think of to tell them their racist commercial is unwanted:

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