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KFC Ad -- OK for Australia, Racist for US?

1/6/2010 2:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Placating a crowd of black people with a bucket of chicken is considered good marketing by Kentucky Fried Chicken in Australia -- but it's causing a bit of a fervor here in the States.



The ad shows a very distressed white guy, surrounded by a crowd of black people at a cricket match, who wonders, "Need a tip when you're stuck in an awkward situation?" He gets out of the "awkward situation" by handing them a bucket of chicken.

A rep for KFC Australia told a local paper, "It is a light-hearted reference to the West Indian cricket team ... The ad was reproduced online in the US without KFC's permission, where we are told a culturally-based stereotype exists, leading to the incorrect assertion of racism."

UPDATE -- We just got this statement: "KFC Australia is removing the television advertisement that was being run in conjunction with the Australian cricket season. We apologize for any misinterpretation of the ad as it was not meant to offend anyone."

349 COMMENTS

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136.

christian    

please tell me why the black folk aren't portrayed to be mad at this guy for sitting in their section? the black folk are happy and supporting their team and the situation doesn't look akward at all. what i take away from this ad is that black people are nearly emotionless except for jubilation (smiling black face). they just don't count. an american commercial would portray the stands as an unfriendly place to be for a rooter of a rival team. this is either a bad commercial or really sees black people are otherworldly

1751 days ago
137.

Tony    

Stop your stupid racist comments.
1. KFC are a major sponsor of the recent cricket series in Australia.
2. The West Indies were playing against Australia at the time and a large majority of West Indians are black (get over it)
3. The guy is wearing an Australian cricket shirt (not a current one through) and is in the situation where he is the lone Australian supporter among West Indian supporters.
4. Tensions can arise in these situations (not usually in cricket though) so he decided to bring out the KFC as an offer of friendship
5. The end

So, what the 'racist' commenters are saying is that black people can't be shown in ads!!! Maybe they should have all been white people around him and the ad would have made no sense at all in the context of the fact the West Indies were the opposition!!!
Maybe he should have brought some sushi and handed that out so you wouldn't be offended, BUT, the ad is for KFC - get over it everyone.

1751 days ago
138.

Really Doe    

The racist part is that he claimed to be stuck in and ackward situation.
LMAO!!!!!!!!!! for white people to not be scared of us?
These people who he was petrified of were at a sporting event, not paying attention to him, smiling, laughing, and dancing.
White people think as long as you arent calling someone a n bomb, you arent being racist. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

1751 days ago
139.

Katie    

the "awkward situation" is that he is the only aussie cricket fan sitting in the middle of the west indies fans, watching the two teams play. there's nothing racist about this ad, us aussies get a bad rap for being racist when we're not, the media likes to exaggerate alot of things, and unfortunately some people are stupid enough to believe it. If Australia is such a bad country, why do people seeking asylum come here and not to America?

1751 days ago
140.

crys    

I believe that in the US, we tend to be too sensitive about things, taking offense where none is needed. While this could be seen as offensive in the US because of our own hyper-sensitivity and lack of a sense of humor, it could be appreciated in Australia.

It seems that jokes about race are taken with a grain of salt over there. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they haven't really gone through the history that we have (or should I say that we've failed to let go or move past our own story?)

I know that KFC, or any corporation, are aware of America's sensitivities about racial issues, so it would never do this. I could also understand that because of the sensitivites and our not moving on, the commercial could be viewed as offensive to Americans.

This reminds me of the Jackson 5 group on Australian TV that was in blackface. That is something that is seen as very offensive in the US because we used it as a way of lampooning all people of a particular skin color. Over there, however, it is taken more with a grain of salt because those meanings aren't assigned to it.

I believe that we need to ease up a bit on the hypersensitivity here, and I also think it would serve us to realize that humor and what is considered humorous differs around the world.

1751 days ago
141.

Black Power    

Where is Rev. Al and Jesse when you need them? Now if it had been Popeye's chicken, then that would be racist.

1751 days ago
142.

Shayne    

Oh Good Grief !!

"The ad shows a very distressed white guy, surrounded by a crowd of black people at a cricket match."

NO it is NOT !!

The ad shows a very distressed Australian cricket fan surrounded by a group of West Indian cricket fans. Race is irrelevant.

For many, many years Australians have enjoyed a friendly rivalry with the West Indies cricketers. We Australians love the West Indian cricketers and cricket fans.

Some similar examples would be:
1. An LA Dodgers fans sitting amongst a group of NY Yankee fans.
or
2. An Australian cricket fan sitting amongst a group of English cricket fans.

If a lone supporter sits amongst a vocal group of supporters from the opposing team at any sporting match, you will feel uncomfortable.

Come to Australia and see that we are not a bunch of racists. We are laid back and enjoy a good laugh. We love poking fun at ourselves more than anything.

1751 days ago
143.

balls    

My BUDDY loves chicken !!!!!!!!!!!!!

1751 days ago
144.

Aussie    

I am an Aussie and I feel extremely sorry for all the Americans out there who are seeming more obsessed with racism issues every day!!!

We roll our eyes and laugh at you for acting all high and mighty because Australia is being racist again...
Australia isn't racist...we will make a joke about you no matter what colour you are, including white!

EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD SEES COLOUR AND RACE NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE PRETEND NOT TO, THE DIFFERENCE IS THIS...

Americans see a black person these days and think "Oooh, better be careful not to be racist to that black person I can see".

Aussies see a black person and think "A black person".
We just DON"T CARE!!!

1751 days ago
145.

Madam Obvious    

I'm Australian and have seen this ad on TV many times whilst I have been watching the cricket. I think a lot of people are misunderstanding it. The white guy in the ad is wearing the Australian cricket team jersey. He is surrounded by West Indian cricket team fans. Australia and the West Indies have a big rivalry thing going between their cricket teams and the West Indies team is touring Australia at the present time. The ad is not mocking black Americans - how ludicrous, it has nothing whatsoever to do with black Americans. Nor is it mocking West Indians based on their race. You need some understanding of the decades old rivalry between the two national cricket teams to get the humourous intent behind the ad. Calm down, everyone, it is not mocking or spoofing anyone in the US, in fact, it doesn't have anything remotely to do with you. And by the way, Australia is no more racist than anywhere else on earth.

1751 days ago
146.

T    

this is stereotyping and it is racist. It may not be extremely racist, but ur fooling urself if u dont think it is a little. KFC and other places know that its stereotyping and racist and thats y every1 is black n hes offering them chicken. its ridiculous. I mean every1 thinks fried chicken is what blacks love, like come on! U know its racist. if almost half are saying its racist...then come on!!! obviously it is racist. I want kfc to apologize!

1751 days ago
147.

Boo Hoo    

Shhh I'm stealing the internet service from my trailer park, Learned that from my Uncle, I mean Brother, I mean Father.. There I go answering myself again. All this talk of fried chicken and watermelon is making me hungry, maybe i'll hold up a Liquor store for some dinner $$$.

1751 days ago
148.

Sonia    

I am from Australia.....we here are so multi cultural it's not funny. Cricket here is our number 1 summer sport and countries we play against are Pakistan, West Indies, India...
If we were racist then why would we play against these countries?!?!?
I don't consider them to be coloured!! I don't get it that most people put others in colour categories...
I always go back to if roles were reversed....
To defend us and KFC... they are the major sponsor of our cricket and include all of the countries we play against in everything we promote.... if you saw all of the other advertisments then maybe you would all understand the concept....

1751 days ago
149.

MJ's PYT Superfly Sista    

Australia,England,Spain,does the country matter.racist is racist.
Wow..I'm black and having chicken for dinner. BAKED.....
WTF...however i have seen American commercial with sterotypes.
You cant sat you havent.
Example..the no texting while driving commercial. Why is the black lady driving super loud with her mouth wide open laughing
and gossiping. the white people are quiet and texting using
intelligent words. Uh huh...just saying....if it walks like a duck,quack like a duck, thats what it is. stop making excuses for
obvious racism.

1751 days ago
150.

pd    

See, it is times like this that make me almost ashamed to be American. Here we go again...

I find it funny that people are arguing over a commercial being racist when the real issue is that you are all idiots who know nothing about cricket and are proving it right here on TMZ. I'll admit I know nothing about cricket either but after reading the comments on here, I realize what's going on. End of story.

Aside from that, why is it such a big deal that the chicken stereotype exists anyway? It's chicken, people. Is that really offensive? It's not like people say all black people are child molesters. It's chicken!!! I personally love it. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, and corn is pretty high on my "favorite dinners" list and I'm white as hell.

1751 days ago
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