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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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256.

nick    

Yes, I am American. African American at that. The commercial is not racist. Racial? Yes. KFC is a global company and should not have allowed this commercial to be aired. My husband is West Indian. He doesn't even like fried chicken. Matter fact he hates KFC & I'm not a fan of chicken.Most of the West Indian's I know dont fry their chicken.

The problem with the commercial is not that he is offering chicken to blacks. It's the racial undertone of a white person being surrounded by black people is an "awkard situation".

I don't care what country you are from there is a problem with that. Any country can relate to that and its not just a US stereotype that you should be afraid if you are surrounded by black people. They should have just used all one race. Problem solved.

1688 days ago
257.

Bridget    

From Australia here ....

This is one of a series of ads starring this guy in relation to cricket ... he uses KFC to get autographs, a guy gets hit by a cricket ball and this bloke steals his KFC, there is this one, where he finds himself in the middle of opposition territory and they are cheering for the opposition but he wants to shut them up (West Indies were touring here) ... this is not racist at all

1688 days ago
258.

hp    

you guys are taking out of context, for the person who said that australians were racist because the ad was for only australians, you are wrong. Why do you think our ads don't make it over in the US? because it culturally doesn't relate to America. Do you guys play cricket? no, its a minority sport there. the ad was produced when australian cricket team was versing the west indies. we don't see the west indies as colour, we see them fans of the opposition. Don't take that cricket ad and relate it to American culture because Cricket doesn't relate to your culture. Its only the chicken and fried chicken doesn't have any bad connotations in Australia. Chillax guys.

1688 days ago
259.

Nicole    

For Goodness sake, will some of you please calm down?? To the ignorant fools calling Australia 'very racist'- come and visit here before you judge and ENTIRE country as racist. And maybe look in your own backyard first...
This ad is boring and stupid but not one bit racist. It shows the much loved West Indies cricket supporters blocking the view of the Aussie supporter and so he offers them something WE ALL enjoy as a way of getting them to sit down. How the hell is that racist? I understand Americans have a different view on offering a black person chicken but we don't. The ad is meant to be fun. Australian cricket supporters love the West Indian team and their supporters because they are great sportsmen and colourful, enthusiastic fans. End of story.

1688 days ago
260.

Rachael    

Seriously ? OK let me splain it to you...The "Awkward" situation is that he is the only Australian Cricket Supporter amongst a group of West Indian Cricket Supporters - nothing to do with skin colour - it's about the teams.

If we had been playing a test against England or South Africa, the ad would have been the same - Meaning that KFC brings people together because it's something everyone loves.

The stereotype of "black people love fried chicken" does not even exist in Australia, and the ad was for local television. I daresay there are ads on American TV that in some other country in the workld would be considered "racist" without the average American even being aware of that context existing elsewhere... Sheesh !

1688 days ago
261.

Liar    

How is this racist? If majority of TMZ'ers vote that people making the slant Asian eye gesture isn't racist, neither is this.

1688 days ago
262.

The US hypocrisy continues    

I can't believe KFC Australia has withdrawn this ad. WTF???????? The parent company in the US must have leant on them pretty heavily. This whole brouhaha is ridiculous in the extreme. Here in Australia, we have no idea that fried chicken is associated negatively with African-Americans. I had no idea of that till I began reading this thread. How are we meant to know this is demeaning to Americans??? For God's sake, fried chicken is fried chicken - how on earth can a foodstuff be racially offensive? That says more about racism in the US than it does about racism in Australia.

The ad is part of a series of adverts running on TV here promoting the West Indian team's current cricket tour of Australia and tying it in with KFC, who are the major sponsor. As usual, American cultural imperialism strikes with an iron fist yet again. Four hundred odd years ago Copernicus proved that the earth revolved around the sun. Now it appears that the earth revolves around the USA. And Americans wonder why they are so globally despised.

1688 days ago
263.

ebonie    

well according to the definition of racism the person would have to have a system of power behind them to oppress the race with and obviously whites have that but blacks do not so thats why blacks CANT by definition of the term 'racism" be a racist. and this does make me feel uncomfortable im black but i dont eat chicken because im actually a vegetarian so there goes that stereo type out the window

1688 days ago
264.

Kendra    

Australia extremely racist? No, it has it's problems like any other country, but no more that the US for example. It's just that the media likes to create drama where there is none. I think the TMZ staff need to visit Australia for a holiday, chill out and relax and not get so caught up in NOTHING :):)

1688 days ago
265.

Rex    

C'mon man. Blacks get offended if the wind blows. Get a life... Then get a job.

1688 days ago
266.

Madam Obvious    

Australia is not an "extremely racist" country by any means. Where the hell do people get that idea from? Have they lived here for any length of time or are they just taking the lying media's word for it? After Canada and the US, it is the most multi-cultural country in the world. Here in Sydney where I live, a city with a population of 4.2 million, people from all four corners of the globe live very harmoniously together, thanks very much. It is the most racially and culturally diverse city in the world, after Vancouver.

1688 days ago
267.

t.d.    

um... it's not about black people liking chicken, it is about an australian cricket fan stuck, at a game, in the middle of a bunch of west indies cricket fans and giving them a tasty treat to keep them appeased. it could have been icecream or whatever other sponsor is supporting the cricket this year and it also could have been new zealand or any other country's fans. i dont think it was on purpose and its not about black ppl liking chicken it is about kfc being able to appease ppl and / or a tricky situation.

some people just have no lives and think waaay too much about this stuff!

1688 days ago
268.

Migaloo    

Make friends by sharing some food. How is this racist?

KFC have been a long time sponsor of cricket in Australia and this ad is a reflection of the strong competition on the field (and between supporters) and friendship/solidarity off the field.

Australia have played this game against people of many ethnicities and I believe as a country this has contributed to a greater level of cultural acceptance. A number of Aussie ex-cricketers are heavily involved in charity work to aid those living in less fortunate cricketing countries. Australia boycotted play with South Africa during apartheid.

The ad just portrayed different people of differing sporting allegences enjoying their sport, respecting each other and breaking bread(-coated chicken pieces drowned in oil).

1688 days ago
269.

Josh    

I think the idea was that he's surrounded by supporters of the opposite team and wanted to pacify them before the match got rowdy. The stereotype that black people love fried chicken I would wager is more predominantly American and not known in Australia. It just happened to be a chicken company doing the advertising. What else did you expect them to have him hand out??

1688 days ago
270.

Cindi    

Last October Harry Connick, Jr. was invited to judge a talent show in Australia. One of the acts was in blackface. Harry was horrified, the Aussie's not so much.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/08/harry.connick.blackface/idx.html

1688 days ago
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