The latest SuperBowl ad to come under fire is Coca Cola. Arab- American groups have criticized the soft drink giant for depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, urging them to edit the commercial before it airs on Sunday. The president of American –Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee, David Warren, asked the question, “Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?”
Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, stated in an email, “The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world,”
Aside from the Arab walking with a camel in the commercial, it includes the Arab seeing cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls, and “Mad Max” types all trying to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke. The commercial is left open ended, allowing viewers to choose who will win the race online. The option to choose the Arab winning the race is not included.
Volkswagon is also under fire from critics, who claim that their ad which features a Caucasian man speaking in a Jamaican accent is offensive. But reggae star Sean Paul does not find the ad to be offensive at all, even calling it funny. Sean Paul told TMZ that he does not understand why the automobile maker is catching flack for it. Sean Paul says that the ad is done in “good taste”. Reggae group, Inner Circle, chimed in saying, “duplication is the highest form of flattery, and our culture is a happy culture with good vibes.” The “Cops” theme song group says, “We say to VW: ONE, ONE, ONE LOVE. Anyone who say dat racist better ask themselves…whatchu gonna do when we come for you?”
So one ad is considered to be extremely racists and the other ad is considered, by some, to be a form of flattery. Are those that are outraged by either ad being a bit over sensitive? Is there a legitimate cause for concern?
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.