Published January 7th, 2010 | 4 Comments
So, I just caught this KFC Australia ad from Nerve (link), plus BuzzFeed (link) has been posting it for a few days now, and they got it from a dude up on YouTube and they seem to think that this ad is racist. Huffington Post (link) has got a write up on it, too, which is actually the most sane report on the matter.
Just like HP’s issue last month where the facial recognition software recognized the white person and not the black person because of lighting issues, so therefore the software was somehow “racist,” Nerve, BuzzFeed, and this chode over on YouTube would like you to think this ad is racist.
Why? Well, it has black people in it and it has white people in it. Oh and the white person offers the black people fried chicken… and we all know what that means.
I’m not sure how it is that people can watch something and not actually see what is going on at all. The ad depicts a lone fan of one cricket team in a sea of the opposing team’s fans. That’s the joke here… the dude is outnumbered at a sporting event. He looks more panicky than I do when I wear my Green Bay jersey in bars in downtown LA.
That opposing team, by the way, is the West Indian Cricket team… here’s what Wikipedia leads with for that team, “The West Indian cricket team, also known colloquially as The Windies or The West Indies, is a multi-national cricket team representing a sporting confederation of a dozen English-speaking Caribbean countries and British dependencies that form the British West Indies.” So, the reason all the people around that Australian guy are black is because they’re from the Caribbean. Not because they randomly chose a bunch of black people to surround a white guy. One poster over on YouTube said, “if they were playing England, they would be surrounded by white people and it would be the same joke.”
What about the fried chicken part? Well, the ad is for KFC, remember? They make and sell fried chicken… I mean, that’s what the “F” and “C” stand for in their name, after all.
A racist ad would be if the guy offered the other side friend chicken, watermelon, and any other racist thing you can think of and then sat down to enjoy his tuna fish sandwich and dance poorly in peace, since that’s what all us white folks do.
Is the ad a little racially insensitive and goofy because no one thought through the idea that there’s a really old racial stereotype involving black people and fried chicken? Yeah, I could go for that, here in the States. Dumb idea, poorly planned, but not racist.
However, this ad was meant for Australian audiences, who aren’t as saddled with guilt as we Yanks are over this matter. Sure, maybe they needed to consider the fact that it would get around the world in these net connected times, but still, I think we’re freaking out a bit too much over here.
One poster on BuzzFeed put it nicely, “absolutley astounded that anyone in one country would watch an ad in another country depicting West Indians and think for one second that a homegrown stereotype had any relevance.”
People, this wasn’t a hate crime, it was bad advertising. Get the hell over it and move on.