Jamaicans are complaining that a new Volkswagen ad scheduled to be aired during the Superbowl is racist as it portrays a white man speaking in a Jamaican accent.
The actor is originally from Minnestoa, and apparently gets really happy and breaks into the Jamaican accent when he gets a VW.
The minute-long commercial, which will cost the car manufacturer US$8 million to air during Sunday’s game, depicts a white man so happy to own a Volkswagen that he speaks with a jubilant and contagious Jamaican accent.
Well who tell dem do dat, mon?
Jamaican-born journalist Christopher John Farley wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the accents reminded him of the controversial character Jar Jar Binks from the Star Wars movies, who used a Caribbean accent and broken English for comedic effect.
“It’s off-putting to see the Island spirit used as a punchline,” he wrote. “The Jamaican aesthetic–shaped by such Jamaican-born notables as Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey and the revolutionary Nanny of the Maroons–is founded on positive vibration, not mindless happiness.”
And Farley was by no means alone.
“It’s just saying, ‘Black people are happy’”’ complained Barbara Lippert, editor-at-large of Mediapost.com, on the Today show. “Didn’t anyone look at this? This is so racist,” she added.
Lippert went on to predict that VW would pull the ad before the game, which is customarily watched by more than a hundred million viewers and costs advertisers US$4 million for just 30-seconds of airtime.
What do you think? Is Volkswagen making fun of our people? Post your comments in our comments section below.