Washington, Jan 30: A Volkswagen advertisement that is slated to air during the Super Bowl this Sunday has been criticized for being racist.
The controversial ad features a jovial white office worker speaking to disgruntled colleagues with a thick Jamaican accent.
The ad has already attracted intense criticism with one prominent essayist calling it ‘blackface with voices,’ the New York Daily News reports.
In the one-minute advertisement, which is thought to have cost the carmaker eight million dollars for the airtime, a group of unhappy employees are shown standing in an elevator complaining about it being Monday.
Behind them, a young, spirited, white employee turns to them and says, ‘no worries, man, everything will be alright,’ in a heavy Jamaican accent.
In another scene, an annoyed worker is seen pounding at a vending machine.
The man tells him, “Don’t fret, my brother, sticky bun come soon,” again in the Jamaican accent.
At one point a confused colleague confirms that the employee is, in fact, from Minnesota.
At the end of the spot, the man is seen driving away from the office in his Volkswagen car with two of his colleagues, who upon arriving at their destination, spout similarly optimistic phrases in the same Jamaican accent.
The ad prompted a barrage of critics to accuse Volkswagen of being racist.
Barbara Lippert, editor-at-large of Mediapost.com, on TODAY said that the ad was so racist and showed that just Black people are happy.
For its part Volkswagen representatives told CNN that the company consulted with 100 Jamaicans and a speech coach to make sure they weren’t being offensive, the report added. (ANI)