Photo: Volkswagen's Super Bowl ad (Volkswagen)
An ad that has landed in the highly coveted Super Bowl time slot has garnered a lot of attention for being accused of racism.
Volkswagen’s ad, which made its debut on Monday, is already being criticized for being racist by Tuesday.
In the one-minute commercial, which cost the company $8 million to air this Sunday, a white actor who’s excited about his Volkswagen is using a Jamaican accent and he’s trying to cheer up his co-workers on a Monday morning, The Huffington Post reports.
Editor-at-large of Mediapost.com, Barbara Lippert, said on the Today show today, “It’s just saying, ‘Black people are happy.’ Didn’t anyone look at this? This is so racist.”
“I don’t like it all,” New York Times columnist Charles Blow said on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, Daily Mail reports. “It’s like blackface with voices. I don’t like that.”
However, Volkswagen has defended the ad, with Tim Mahoney, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Volkswagen of America, saying they “did their homework.”
He said the company used a dialect coach to make sure the Jamaican accent was authentic and that they tested the commercial on 100 Jamaican people.
“We obviously did our homework to make sure that we weren’t offensive,” he said.