Friday, June 17, 2011
Most Racist Commercial Ever?
I'm sure that everyone has seen this commercial by now, but I'm appalled that it's still on the air.
That's right; because it's racist.
Allow me to explain.
First off, the fact that Daniel Lee is an Asian American dude is mildly offensive. I mean an Asian American guy, connecting with his daughter, by effectively utilizing technology. Seriously Google? Nothing stereotypical about that.
But it's worse than that.
I mean at first I was impressed with the sentiment of the ad. A father makes a digital scrapbook for his daughter. Beautiful, right? You'd have to be completely heartless not to be affected by the ad.
Then my mind began to wander. I started to think "wow, what a great ad. It's like something Don Draper would come up with." And then I was jealous because it wasn't a Black father in the ad.
But then I thought about how difficult it must have been to cast that commercial. To have to cast "Sophie" at all those various ages must have been a chore.
That's when it hit me; the Google commercial was racist. They specifically used an Asian American family because, best case scenario, they think all Americans think all Asians look alike or, worst case scenario, the people who made the commercial think all Asians look alike.
Now I'm willing to concede that most Americans probably are ignorant enough to believe that Asians look alike. They probably think someone from North Korea and someone from Japan look alike. I actually correct them when coworkers make blanket statements about Asians.
But the "Dear Sophie" ad subtly reinforces that notion. It's not as offensive as something you might find on Stormfront and the heartwarming message makes it seem benign. However anyone who thinks about the commercial for a moment or looks past the cloyingly sweet sentiment should see something mildly wrong.
It'd be like a commercial that showed Black folks enjoying watermelon, fried chicken and red Kool-Aid; no matter the sentiment the images are still stereotypical and offensive.
Plus, when was the last time you saw an Asian American family as the focus of a national campaign? But in this instance, again of a father using technology to connect with his daughter who is shown at various ages, they go Asian? That doesn't seem exploitative at all.
Of course I could just be full of baloney.
(No, I'm not. I actually saw the ad while I was typing this post and now I'm more certain than ever that it's racist propaganda. Probably.)