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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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331.

Baffled Aussie    

Hey comment 420 you reckon we are one of the most racist countries in the world, well congratulations that must mean the USA is the top of the list, look at what you have done to your own indigenous cultures and how you have treated dark skinned people in your own country before you start slagging ours off. As for the ad itself, we have no idea about the stereotype of african americans and fried chicken!

The ad was made in australia for australian audiences, kfc is the sponsor of the west indies and australian cricket this summer, the aussie supporter was sitting in the wrong section amongst a group of west indian supporters, thats why its awkward, if they were all white, it still would have been awkward! Not all black people are african american and have your culture, it is not aimed at your african american culture. This ad is also one of a series of ads where the 'white guy' is getting all types of people to shut up so he can watch the cricket, including his 'white mates' etc, maybe this should be seen as racist because no other ethnic groups are being shown?, get an effn life.

1715 days ago
332.

The US hypocrisy continues    

@420. Johan, would you mind enlightening us on how the Stolen Generation in Australia (aboriginal children taken from their parents in the 1930's -1950's) is the same as Nazi death camps such as Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, etc? Really, I'm all ears about this, as I was unaware that murder/genocide of Aboriginals was taken to Nazi levels in Australia.

At least the Australian Prime Minister issued an official government apology to dispossessed Aboriginals. The world is still awaiting the US government to apologise to its African-American population for kidnapping their ancestors en masse from Africa and forcing them into slavery, and American Indians are still waiting for the government to apologise to them for stealing their lands, destroying their cultures and forcing them into poverty.

1715 days ago
333.

Dave    

In reference to Dinka - its not awkward because he is the only white guy, its awkward because he is surrounded by an opposing team, who are from the West Indies, who happen to be black. Don't comment on stuff you don't understand you dumb yank*

*not racist

1715 days ago
334.

andrea HOWARD    

This ad has nothing to do with race but rather rivalry between 2 longstanding cricket teams. If you understand the game, the history between Australia and the Windies and how passionate cricket fans are about the teams they support then you will understand what the ad is actually depicting. It has nothing to do with racism whatsoever. Ta.

1715 days ago
335.

Pwoiter    

Western attitudes, behaviour, TV and adverts are considered to be offensive in many countries. For example, many Muslims are offended by western depictions of women etc. Millions of people are offended by this, but I can't recall KFC or anyone pulling ads in Australia or any other Western country because they might offend people in the Muslim countries. So, why is it that KFC Australia pulls ads that offend some Americans? Isn't this a double standard.

Or put another way, would those Americans offended by this ad be comfortable with Muslims vetting American ads? I doubt it.

The reality is that this ad is considered so un-racist in Australia, that no one in Australia even thought it could be perceived that way until a few media outlets in the US pointed it out. If that makes Australians naive, then OK, but if America was more aware of the sensitivities of other countries and cultures, the war on terror would not exist.

1715 days ago
336.

hp    

LOL, funny they choose the colour card, yet they don't complain about one of our Bank ads that can be taken out of context. Fellow Aussies will know which bank ad it is... about customer service and ATMs as a hint.

1715 days ago
337.

andrea HOWARD    

I am an Australian Eurasian (Aussie, English, Irish, French, Indonesian, Malay and Chinese) and a big cricket fan. The KFC ad is in no way racist and if Americans were cricket enthusiasts, they would understand the meaning of the ad. The white guy as you people like to see him, by race, was surrounded by a bunch of, again as you like to put it, black people, or as we like to refer to them, Windies supporters as their team is now touring Australia. If England had been touring for example, the guy in the ad may well have been surrounded by a bunch of white or largely white England supporters which i think would still work as we distinguish teams and supporters not by race but by the team tops that they wear, the colours that they paint their faces with and the flags and signs that they carry. It is I believe important to understand before speaking out, particularly when your culture is very different to that of others.
Thanks
Natasha

1715 days ago
338.

Grow Up    

Im laughing at the fact that america is blatently exploiting this ad and it has nothing to do with AFRICAN AMERICANS,

The ad is about the WEST INDIES CRICKET TEAM where australia is currently versing them in cricket.

We are not a racist country... in fact we have one of the most mulitcultural societies in the world. We value all races and all colours, everyone is treated as equal, maybe thats why we dont see this as racist as all? . For americans to depict this advert as racist just shows how much of a racist country you are. You disgust me, try and sort out your own countries problems with racism before looking at the rest of the world and judging us.

1715 days ago
339.

The US hypocrisy continues    

"420. it is racist, and it doesn't help that australia has been know as one of the most racist country's in the world. They just issue an apolgy in 2008 for the way they treated the indigenous people back in world war 2, which in my opinion wasn't too much different then the nazi death camps"

Tell me, Johan, has the US government ever issued an apology to African Americans for the way they treated them for centuries???? Let's see, your ancestors thought nothing of sending over slave ships to Africa, kidnapped men, women and children as a matter of course, thereby breaking up family units, shipped them to the other side of the world, sold them off to the highest bidder and then worked them to premature death on plantations. How does that differ from Nazi death camps and why, to this day, has there been no apology issued to African Americans for this heinous crime that was perpetrated against them for several centuries? If the Australian government can officially apologise to its aboriginal population, why can't your government also issue an official apology to the descendants of slaves? Slavery is a very ugly, suppurating, festering scar on the US's history that will never be expunged or forgotten. Those of us outside the US aren't one bit fooled by your claims that you are a shining beacon of racial tolerance. That is absolute BS, so stop overlaying your guilt and warped racial attitudes onto the rest of us. We want no part of them.

1715 days ago
340.

Aussie Suck Rou Nuts    

#427 "ME" if Australia was playing China, the racist Australian whould offer them rice. Racist A-holes.

1714 days ago
341.

Baffled Aussie    

434, and if we were playing america we would offer you hamburgers, hot dogs, donuts, twinkies, oreo's and supersized everything

1714 days ago
342.

Young Aussie    

I live in Australia and I can't believe this actually made news on TMZ. This is not racist at all and nor does it intend to be. It's funny here in Australia because we get it!! Loosen up guys!!!

1714 days ago
343.

Amy    

The furor surrounding this advertisement is ridiculous. Firstly, the ad was only meant to be shown in Australia because countries (such as the USA) which does not have a strong cricketing culture would fail to understand the ad in its entirety. At cricket matches, there are always strong crowds that sit tigether and bring their bit of culture to the game. For the West Indians, this is the colourful costumes and music. Similiarly, Australia has the Green and Gold Army of supporters etc. The ad is not intended to suggest that because the West Indians are Black, they must like chicken. The premise of the advertisement is that the chicken is delicious enough for everyone to stop singing and dancing and enjoy food. Again, the racial overtones which have been placed upon the ad, have emerged because of a failure to understand the references completely. The West Indians do not deem this ad to be racially offensive; neither do most Australians. Hence why the ad was only meant to be shown in Australia dueing the cricket season.

1714 days ago
344.

dgeorge2    

I do not think this is racist. This is political correctness going out of control. I see this as a positive commercial...a fan of one team sharing his food with the fans of the opposing team. If this was a commercial for McDonalds and he was sharing hamburgers and fries, the commercial would have still worked. Or if he had a cooler of Coca-Cola to share.

1714 days ago
345.

Renee    

I'm Australian and I find this add amusing.
Dinka the "awkward" situation was that he was an Aussie cricket supporter that was seated with all the west Indies supporters and the west Indies apperared to be winning so he offered up chicken.
Spellchamp if you have NEVER been to Australia pull ur finger out ur arse we are by no means a racist country. We have a thing where we are able to laught at ourselves unlike ALOT of other ppl.
Just cause we are laid back and take it as it comes does not mean we are racist. We are the MOST MULTUCULTRAL country in the world!

I love the country I was born and raised in and if you dont like it I really dont care. Australia does not put its nose in and call American's on all the racist things they have come out of the US.

1713 days ago
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