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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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346.

STM    

Almost every commentary I've seen about this that originates in the US says something like "calming a crowd of black people".

The problem is, Americans are projecting their own shameful cultural experience of racism on to people to whom it doesn't apply in this context - Australians and West Indians, who have been playing cricket against each other for a century and, even though race conscious Americans might not understand, really like each other. Colour isn't an issue.

In this ad, you in America see "black" and "white", Down Under - and doubtless in the Caribbean - we'll be seeing "cricket fans from two opposing teams".

This speaks more about American racism than it does about anything to do with Australia.

It's also another great example of the inability of Americans to view the world through anything other than their myopic view filtered through their own cultural experience.

Black people/fried chicken and threatened white guy/large crowd of blacks just don't exist as racial stereotypes in Australia or the West Indies, at least not in the context of watching a cricket match.

And since this ad was produced in Australia for Australian consumption during the recent West Indies cricket tour of Oz, you don't even get the context and in this case, cultural context is everything.

We're NOT Americans. What you understand in realtion to this doesn't apply! Try to get your heads around the idea that America is not the only country on the planet. This is what the rest of the world finds Americans very, very annoying much of the time.

In short, Americans look at this and go: "Racists"

We look at the bizarre, over the top reaction to it by Americans failing to even understand that what goes on outside their own country might be something different, to it and say: "Idiots".

1716 days ago
347.

mike    

The comment is about cricket teams. In American terms, the Elaine Benes Orioles cap/Yankees game situation. The racist in the situation is the ammount of comments declaring that 'Australians are racist'. The better option (while still wrong) would be to accuse the producers of the advertisement.

1596 days ago
348.

Dobbzilla    

i think your all missing the point. its awkward because he wants to watch the game and they are all partying around him, and he is the odd one out. providing the KFC distracts them from their party and in turn allows the bloke to watch the game in peace!

1406 days ago
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