From showing Lord Ganesha eating meat to a beauty care brand’s racist fairness cream ad — many advertisements have struck the wrong note with viewers recently. Joining the brigade, a yoghurt and dessert making company launched its new ad and left many viewers perplexed with its hidden meaning. The video shows a group of five bears rapping and dancing to the 1995 hip-hop classic I Got Five On It by Luniz. However, the bears seem to be emulating African-Americans and hence, the ad has been slammed as “racist”.
Wondering how? To name a few things — the hairstyle that is frequently spotted in African-Americans, dreadlocks, and an afro, flat top and cornrows make it look like a mockery. Moreover, the fake accent and the bling is something that adds to making the racial caricature glaringly blatant. The bears in the video also have names like “Grizzle Wheat”, “Top Spelt”, “Mad Millet”, “Big Barley” and “Tasty B”.
Quick to spot it, Twitter users found it quite strange and didn’t miss the gig. Showing their disappointment on social media, people tweeted the company for their faulty act. Lee Jasper, the Senior Policy Advisor on Equalities of the former Mayor of London, pointed out the offensive video and complained about the advertisement. Read some reactions here.
Nice use of offensive and enduring racial stereotypes and tropes there. Who developed this add ?
— Mr Lee Jasper (@LeeJasper) November 8, 2017
How in 2017 does a company get it so wrong using such offensive racial caricatures to sell some icky faux rice? Clearly you’re not interested my coins.
— Donna McConnell (@d_mcconnell) November 10, 2017
What racial caricatures? It’s a parody on Hip Hop videos, sure, but those aren’t exlusive to black people.
— Marcus Antonius (@Mantonius555) November 13, 2017
Ridiculous. I just don’t have the energy anymore
— Miss Mad News (@madnewsblog) November 10, 2017
They literally did it for attention. Dead gloopy pudding, hey let spice it up with some racist stereotypes. Work up the blacks get free marketing. They’re pathetic.
— TheBritishBlacklist (@BritBlacklist) November 10, 2017
One of the most racist adverts I’ve seen
How does this get passed?
Taking the absolute piss
— HISTORY TO FUTURE LP (@mampi_swift) November 9, 2017
The convo went like this:
Allan: For the next advert we should use black bears
Richard: Nah mate we’ve always used brown bears
A: Nah Rich I don’t mean black like black I mean black like black
R: Oh like Chris from accounts?
A: Yeah but more. . .black. Urban and that.
— Genesis Elijah (@GenesisElijah) November 10, 2017
Despite the backlash, the company continued to push the campaign and has not removed the video from social media platforms yet.