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Do you think its racist? I think some people just have nothing better to gripe about

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM
  • 13 Replies

Arab-American groups have sharply criticized a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, and one group said it would ask the beverage giant to change it before CBS airs the game on Sunday before an expected audience of more than 100 million U.S. viewers.

"Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?" said Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC.

Coca-Cola released an online teaser of the commercial last week, showing the Arab walking through a desert. He soon sees cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and a motley crew fashioned after the marauders of the apocalyptic "Mad Max" film race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke.

In its ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character.

"The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world," Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, said in an email.

"What message is Coke sending with this?" asked Abed Ayoub, ADC's director of legal and policy affairs. "By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial," he said.

CBS declined comment. Coca-Cola spokeswoman Lauren Thompson said Coke took a "cinematic" approach with the ad, employing the characters as a nod to movies of the past.

"Coca-Cola is an inclusive brand enjoyed by all demographics," she said in an email. "We illustrate our core values, from fun and refreshment to happiness, inspiration and optimism across all of our marketing communications."

Ayoub said ADC intended to contact Coke and CBS Corp on Thursday to "hopefully start a dialog."

"I want to know why this happened and how can we fix this if possible before Sunday," he said.

The ADC garnered attention back in 1992 when it complained that lyrics in the Walt Disney animated film "Aladdin" were racist.

Ronald Goodstein, professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, said he was surprised by the image as well. "If Coke's vision is to be an arm's distance away from every customer, why would they want to offend the Arab world?" said Goodstein.

Ayoub said the commercial could harm Coke's business with the Arab community.

"Coke should understand and respect their consumers and have a better understanding of the market they are sharing," he Ayoub.

The company has a large market share in the Middle East and North Africa, he noted, and many convenience stores and other retail outlets in the United States that offer Coke are owned by Arab-Americans.

To watch the commercial go here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/arab-american-groups-say-coke-super-bowl-ad-racist-1B8191874

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
norahsmommy
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Many people have too much time on their hands.
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christina0607
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:42 PM

The commercial is cute.

People just like to complain.

beadingmom17
by Rachel on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM
People have sticks up their asses.
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Fields456
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:45 PM
This is the 3 rd Super Bowl commercial I have heard ppl complain about for beig racist. Ppl really need to find hobbies.

I just watched it is freaking hilarious I love the Vegas show girls when they glitter cannon the cowboy
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kitty8199
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Well they do live in a desert. Arab Americans don't, but I don't understand how people want their culture embraced, but call it racist when it is.
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Mrsfarr
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:47 PM
At least the Arab doesn't have a bomb strapped to him. THAT would be racist.
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mrssummerlin
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:49 PM
I've not seen it so I can't say one way or the other, but generally people make a big something out of nothing and it normally falls back to race, religion, or orientation.

If people would take a step back and just relax they'd be able to see the truly bad and harmful from the innocent and harmless.
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PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:12 PM

"In its ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character."

Maybe because he's not in the race?


Arwyn724
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:48 PM

What is sad is when a country can't have a sense of humor about itself, what-so-ever.  Do you think a company as big as Coca-Cola would jeopardize its potential for millions of $$ in the Arab nations if it were purposefully being racist?  They do a lot of market research before they make these commercials. Geez, get a sense of humor and lighten-up.  Failure to do that paints your country in a bad light, not trying to profile the Arabs or sound racist, but....

Arwyn 724 

inspain
by Ruby Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Oh, FFS...

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