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Acura

We're So Sorry We Excluded

Dark-Skinned Blacks

4/18/2012 12:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0418_acura_senfeld

Acura has issued a full-on apology ... after we ran a story that the car company's ad people sought an African American actor to play a car dealer who was "not too dark."

The commercial -- which featured Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno and ran during the Super Bowl -- was cast by an agency that sent out a casting sheet, looking for a "nice looking, friendly, not too dark" African American actor to play the role of dealer.

Acura just issued this statement:  "We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials."

The car company added, "We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor."

As for the language "not too dark," Acura says, "The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention.  We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand."

250 COMMENTS

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91.

jddb483    

This is utterly freakin stupid!!Black people are just like everybody else AND NOT BETTER.There is no difference white,black,asian,hispanic we are all equal and nobody is above the other PERIOD.I mean not black enough whats next too black?I hate to break hearts but nobody owes anything to anybody else give me a break.

835 days ago
92.

Sherry    

I love how all the white people here don't see a problem with it. Yeah, because it doesn't affect the world's perception of you! It's not that they wanted a Black person, it's that they went through the trouble of stating me must not be too Black. Yet because you are clueless, you can't seem to think its a big deal. When good for you! Jackasses.

835 days ago
93.

jddb483    

You don't want fair treatment you want better treatment sorry not going to happen I thought we are all equal not matter what our skin color and we(meaning everybody) had to earn their place.I'm never going to think somebody is superior to me for ANY reason,race,gender,money or anything else.

835 days ago
94.

TMP    

So, TMZ can't find actual celebrity news to report, so they try to make their own racial filled news stories? WTF is up with you TMZ... there was NO story here to start with. This "updated" story is only here because you made a huge deal out of nothing in the first place when you posted the original story.... you created a race issue where there wasn't even one to start with. They send out audition cards all the time and ask for very specific looking people. If they ask for a blonde hair woman for a part and a brown haired woman shows up and DOESN'T get the part will you post that on your site next time? If you put yourself in a position where they are going to get rejected... and then try to SUE... then they are as dumb as the people writing this website.

835 days ago
95.

Dmj    

Hair colour/style can be changed quickly, we can lose weight/or gain weight for a particular role, but to specify you want to exclude a person for a feature that they are born with...even given the nature of the industry...not good enough for a country that claims they don't discriminate and have gone as far as to create anti-discrimination laws. Time to re-think your stance on that issue oops i mean law.

835 days ago
96.

TMP    

And DON'T SAY it's because I'm white... because I'm not. I'm bi-racial...half black... and I can't stand this crap anymore. EVERYTHING, no matter how stupid or irrelevant is being flipped, twisted and turned into a racial issue. This was a stupid reported story in the first place and it's gotten even dumber with TMZ updating it's own fluff piece. Everyone wants to blame everyone else for everything that's wrong in their lives. EVERYONE (I mean, everyone) needs to shut up, grow up and get over themselves. And I seriously mean that in the best way possible. Focusing so much attention on negative stuff is taking away from ACTUAL issues that we, as a united people, could attempt to rectify.

835 days ago
97.

TMZISAPIECEOFSHIT    

It's Their commerical, Their money and the role called for a lighter skinned black person. Black people's skin tones vary from bright light to midnight black and every shade in between. What's the problem?

835 days ago
98.

Cognizant _illiberal    

You dont see women complaining about only men being asked to audition. seriously black people are looking for special treatment i was at a restaurants grand opening, and the restaurant was giving out hats and T-shirts to people that showed up before 11am, it was 11:40am and they still had some shirts left so they gave them away, then a black lady with 4 kids asked for a shirt at 11:50am and was told there wasn't any left and she demanded compensation in the form of gift certificates or free food for something she was not even entitled to. There were asian, mexican, and white fanilies that were there at the restaurant at 11:45am before her and they were told no more shirts and hats were left but they did not complain only the black lady, and the restaurant ended up giving her a gift certificate because she was making such a fuss and after she got the gift certificate she still was cussing in front of her kids and others saying the restaurant manager was a racist bitch and it was some bull shyte.

835 days ago
99.

Kat    

Acura is free to hire whoever they want to hire for the their commercials. Shame on them for apologizing. Until people quit apologizing for doing nothing wrong, this nonsense will continue. Stupid political correctness....thank so much liberals for putting racism glasses on everyone. This is still America, you know. At least for the time being......

835 days ago
100.

Otobot    

Black guy here. I think this is dumb. The whole point of casting is to search for a desired physical look of a person to market a product. I doubt the light skinned black actors with dreads who auditioned are losing any sleep over this.

For the sake of explanation I'm gonna go out on a limb here:

Speaking as a black man(dark skinned) living in Asia and Acura being an Asian owned car company; the general census in Asian culture(particularly China, Korea, and Japan) is that dark skin represents lower class. The lighter your skin, the more rich and privileged you must be. Pale skin is celebrated as beauty here. It's a cultural stigma that has plagued dark skinned asians and many black expats seeking employment here. Most employers won't even consider your credentials until they've seen your face first. So, this might have influenced the decision for casting. Then again maybe not.

835 days ago
101.

Atlantaguy    

TMZ/Harvey... I'm shocked at your reaction to this and the dismissal when the company came back at you with the fact it was a lighting issue. Hellooooooo... you guys follow people around all day long with cameras and vid cams - you're not aware of the very REAL lighting issues this can cause? Seriously.

I'm a part time photographer. Look at the FINISHED commercial. Very light showroom, next to a very bright floor to ceiling window, white actor next to the salesman, light colored car on top of that. The entire set was very light, and very bright. If someone who had very dark skin was in the shot, the camera meter would not have been able to show all of that actor's facial features without completely blowing out everything else around it. Adjust so everything is right, and a "too dark" skin tone would turn to literal black in some areas, obscuring the face altogether.

Photo metering 101 folks... learn it before you pull out the deck of race cards... PLEASE.

835 days ago
102.

Tiahzzi Cherrelle    

White people SHUT THE **** UP!!!! This is more than about a commercial for men only or women only or blonds! This is about a damn car commercial and the ad making RACE and COLOR a huge issue to sell a damn car! People of darker shades have always got the **** end of the stick when it comes to casting! Pale tones always got the door opened for them much faster! GLAD that TMZ made this news because it is! If they wanted to appeal to a white audience then get a white person to sell the damn raggedy cheap ass car! BOYCOTT ACURA!!!!!!!!!

835 days ago
103.

BJ    

having been a photographer,worked in a photo lab, the art director was looking at the lighting. Too dark, the features in the face would not show up, without "washing" out the background. next time just ask for a blonde girl, with big boobs. No one complains about that.

835 days ago
104.

Liz    

Seriously?? Seriously, you have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! Any advertising company has the RIGHT to ask for whatever skin type, hair color, leg length, arm muscles, etc. that they choose! These dumba$$ idiots are ALWAYS complaining about something. It sickens me to the core, and somebody needs to tell them to Shut The Hell Up!

835 days ago
105.

Cognizant _illiberal    

blacks open the door for other people to cry discrimination, seriously maybe a black pregnant women would cry discrimination if she was not allowed to audition for the role of a 12 year old virgin chinese girl

835 days ago
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