Complaints made to ASB against ‘racist’ KFC ad too little too late

Dr Mumbo has been following with interest the international media coverage surrounding the “racist” Australian-made KFC ad – and the subsequent take up of the story by the Australian media throughout the day.  

A call to the ad watchdog, the Advertising Standards Bureau, revealed that two complaints were made about the ad today, despite the fact that it had been running nationally for almost three weeks to coincide with the cricket season.

Dr Mumbo wonders why the complaints were made only now? The Australian public couldn’t be that fickle surely?

But too little too late for those complainants, as the ad has now been pulled which means there will be no investigation by the ASB.


  1. onegirlinmelb
    7 Jan 10
    5:58 pm

  2. I hadn’t actually seen this particular ad in the series until the controversy started.. perhaps the people who complained were the same?

  3. Titus
    7 Jan 10
    6:13 pm

  4. The criticism raised by Americans does not take into account the context of the ad. There is not implied or intended racism. It is about West Indies cricket fans surrounding a lone Australian fan. Where’s the racism?

  5. Linda Johannesson
    7 Jan 10
    6:19 pm

  6. I think the racism is about the association with fried chicken. I was
    disappointed to see the reference, but then again, I’m Canadian and
    seem to have a higher sensitivity to associations like this. But I continue
    to be surprised ( and sometimes shocked) by what makes it to air.

  7. Adam Paull
    7 Jan 10
    7:06 pm

  8. The offensive link between fried chicken and African Americans is an American invention and has no cultural meaning anywhere else in the world. The people complaining about the ad are doing so out of ignorance and arrogance – ignorantly labelling West Indians as African Americans and arrogantly expecting the rest of the world to respect American values born from the guilt of their history of slavery.

    The ad would have exactly the same meaning if the English “Balmy Army” followers were swapped out with the Windies fans – it just so happens that it’s the West Indies touring Australia this summer. It should also be noted that KFC has been a sponsor of the Windies for a number of years.

    If we continue to cower to fragile American sensitivities then we run the risk of Australian content producers not wanting to show black people at all in order to avoid any accidental controversy – and that really would be racist.

  9. Mr Corbett
    7 Jan 10
    7:17 pm

  10. For this to be an issue surely the only question that matters is did the agency deliberately choose fried chicken as a (veiled) slur against west-indians?
    To suggest that the agency did is the only thing I take fucking offence too. They emant no offence and clearly the Australian public took no offence to it either.
    I am hugely disappointed by KFC and their lack of backbone in supporting their execution, their original idea and their agency.

  11. TMac
    7 Jan 10
    8:01 pm

  12. I completely agree with the above comments. Clearly these North American pundits have made the assumption that the ‘black’ people portrayed in this TVC are African-Americans so have link the fried chicken = placated crowd to USA slavery-era stereotypes.

    At the risk of making my own stereotype, North Americans are breathtakingly egocentric.

    I think KFC should be more concerned with negative backlash due to their sledge-hammer-to-the-face media flights than these international claims of racism. Surely I’m not the only person who begins to loath KFC after being forced to endure the same TVC 1000 times per day while watching a test match?!

  13. Jon
    7 Jan 10
    8:09 pm

  14. Coming from the UK I do find that some behaviour that is considered normal in Australia would be considered racist in the UK.

    However, for the reasons other people have given I don’t see this as racist at all.

  15. SimonB
    7 Jan 10
    10:17 pm

  16. I agree with all of the above, as is often the case these days (trying to avoid stereotyping) the Americans think the bloody world revolves around them and that anything they find offensive should be banned / pulled off air / sued.

    For gods sake, get a life. As others have said, they’re not even “African Americans”, who are the ones who supposedly are the ones that are offended. Sheez.

  17. Chris Walton
    8 Jan 10
    8:14 am

  18. Un-bloody-believable.

    Is there anything the Septics don’t get offended about? Not that it has the slightest thing to do with them, or that they have completely misunderstood it.

  19. Joel Pearson
    8 Jan 10
    9:06 am

  20. Not racist. Conversation over.

  21. chris Kamen
    8 Jan 10
    10:22 am

  22. Considering only two newspapers picked up this “controversy” in the US, yet it received widespread coverage here, signals to me that it’s an Australian media blow up with local outlets desperate for a story about a so called “USA outrage….”.

    Makes me think perhaps the whole Indian student safety story is bigger here too then it is over in India….

  23. dermot_mccoy
    8 Jan 10
    12:18 pm

  24. Doesn’t Australia belong to the united states? I thought that was why they rest of the united states think that Australians would give a shit about their warped sensibilities.

  25. C K Cash
    8 Jan 10
    12:38 pm

  26. More PC type crap…how about the other KFC ad where he shows you how to sneak onto the boundary and impersonate a security guard and bribe the guard with the greasy treat…nice way to show people how to break the law KFC!

  27. Clancy
    8 Jan 10
    12:46 pm

  28. This is a storm in a frypan. Ridiculous. Never was racist, and should never have been pulled. Cowards KFC.

  29. Andy
    8 Jan 10
    12:47 pm

  30. Why do people take ads so literally? What happened to the light hearted, fun nature in people?!

    Next thing you know society will be saying the film Avatar is racist against the Na’vi tribe!

    Don’t we have bigger things to worry about in life than an ad about fried chicken?!

  31. Brian Haverty
    8 Jan 10
    12:50 pm

  32. Plus the fact that in this series of ads, the main actor distracts all different types of people with the product — from roommates to in-laws to security guards (as CK said).

    Highly unlikely considering the product? Yes.

    Racist? Oh, Pleez.

  33. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    1:00 pm

  34. Speaking as a black person, the advertisement is considered racist to all black people and not just West Indians. It plays on cultural stereotypes and not the ‘light-hearted’, ‘jolly’ ones. (Black people are simpletons who are placated by a bucket of fried chicken). It is the same as the black face skit. The fact that it is playing in Australia, a different culture, does not make it right. The thing is, where is the line drawn between comic genius and racism? My advice to KFC and other content producers is tread very carefully around issues of race and caricatures.

  35. Aussie
    8 Jan 10
    1:00 pm

  36. I must be a true-blue Aussie, as the insult relating to fried chicken and African Americans went completely over my head. Personally I only saw Jamaicans on the ad which said to me they were fans of the west Indies. The ad merely portrays a humourous situation that us sports fans can clearly relate to.

    As the media is only scheduled in Australia, why do Americans even give a shit? Get over it.

  37. dogwithabone
    8 Jan 10
    1:15 pm

  38. I have to say that whilst I agree the ad doesn’t fit a dictionary definition of racism, it does show a complete insensitivity and cultural ignorance (and yes I understand they are West Indians, but it is the way the ad could be perceived that is the real issue).
    I would have thought that any person who was working on behalf of a brand that sells fried chicken would have understood the connection and known of the cultural stereotype.
    Plus, all the marketing brains on this forum and yet everyone still believes that the impact of this upon KFC in the U.S. is worth ignoring?
    Surely the parent company made the decision to pull the ad.
    Now all they need is for Dave Chappelle to sue for theft of his intellectual property:

  39. Ella
    8 Jan 10
    1:21 pm

  40. Goodness me! What are people going on about!

  41. Yesterday's News
    8 Jan 10
    1:37 pm

  42. Adam Paull, I couldn’t have expressed it better. Spot on.

    To Andrew Juma, would you have been offended if the rival crowd of supporters being placated with food were Chinese, Italian or Arabic? The intention was to illustrate how food can overcome an obstacle like barracking for opposite teams and create a moment of harmony and fun. Like sharing meat pies at an AFL game. Get over yourself.

    BTW, I’m a white Australian and I lived in the States for many years in the deep south, surrounded by African-Americans. I had black friends. I studied American history. No references to a link between black people and fried chicken EVER came up. This is another media-contrived storm-in-a-teacup.

  43. Adam Paull
    8 Jan 10
    1:51 pm

  44. Andrew – I think you’re being a tad too sensitive… Think carefully about what it is you’re saying. There’s a whole planet out there with all kinds of social no-nos and prejudices – racial and otherwise. Do we have to consider all possible meanings and interpretations from all corners of the Earth when producing our own popular culture?

    You say “The fact that it is playing in Australia, a different culture, does not make it right.” Well there are some cultures in this world where even a modest amount of bare flesh is considered offensive – should Australian television producers and advertising executives consider their sensibilities before broadcasting?

    Can anyone name just one US television program or movie from the past 100 years where the American producers or artists changed their production for their local audience because they were worried they might offend a foreign nation or race? American shows like South Park and The Simpsons relish offending other cultures for a laugh – and long may they continue.

    There is nothing even remotely offensive in Australia about this ad. All this debate is just going to push black people off our screens – “Playing it safe” will become the norm because conservative advertisers and broadcasters will fret over any possible backlash caused by misinterpretation.

    American paranoia and guilt are two cultural exports we don’t need.

  45. John Grono
    8 Jan 10
    1:52 pm

  46. Three points:
    1. Last time I share my food with anyone at the cricket in case I offend anyone.
    2. What’s the bet that an edict came from the US to Australia to pull the ad – does anyone from KFC care to comment?
    3. I’m offended by lots of US ads that could be seen as rednecked right-wing bible-bashing hysteria – but I don’t expect them to pull their ads because I am offended. I’d prefer to just laugh off their insularity.

  47. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    1:54 pm

  48. To Yesterdays News – yes it would have been offensive. In much the same way that it would have been offensive if the guy in question pulled out a bucket of coins and threw it around to placate a Jewish crowd.

    Racism, whether to black people, white people, Asian people, green people, blue people, pink people is wrong and should not be tolerated, even in the slightest. I am not being self-righteous or jumping on to my soapbox. I just want to highlight that cultural insensitivity is wrong and stupid, regardless of who does it. Perhaps you should study your American history again. Read up on a variety of sources. And having black friends does not make you an expert on all issues of race.

  49. C K Cash
    8 Jan 10
    1:57 pm

  50. Just saw this on KFC Australia’s FB page – KFC Australia apologises unreservedly for any offence caused by its advertisement being shown throughout the Australian cricket season, which was wholly unintended.

    Also posted – This commercial has been well understood by Australian cricket fans as a being a light-hearted advertisement and is not offensive in Australia. To avoid any further offence being caused KFC Australia has ceased running the ad. KFC unequivocally condemns discrimination of any type and has a proud history as one of the world’s leading employers for diversity.

  51. mich
    8 Jan 10
    1:57 pm

  52. Agree completely with Adam Paull.

    I’m black as well, and while I’m aware of the fried chicken and african american stereotype in the US, it’s not apart of Australia’s cultural vernacular.

    I think it’s far more racist to imply West Indies are the same as African Americans – isn’t that the same as saying all black people look the alike?

    At the end of the day, Australia isn’t America. We should produce ads that are respectful to the cultural diversity in our country and don’t piss us off. And if the US has an issue with it, they can fuck themselves

  53. dogwithabone
    8 Jan 10
    2:01 pm

  54. Andrew, I am very disappointed…you stole the Jewish example I was going to use!

  55. Mr. Culturally Insensitive
    8 Jan 10
    2:01 pm

  56. Mr. Juma.

    That is an offensive slur against all culturally insensitive people – one of the most maligned sectors of the population. Can you please post an apology.

    (And no I am not being serious, but merely pointing out that anyone, anywhere can be offended by anything.)

  57. John Grono
    8 Jan 10
    2:04 pm

  58. Well said Mich. The US can go fuck themselves. Just like how culturally senstive they have been in South-East Asia and the Middle East over the decades.

  59. David Watts
    8 Jan 10
    2:05 pm

  60. Having been a resident of the Notting Hill area in London for 5 years when the carnival is on, I can say that the West Indian community certainly do love Fried Chicken, in large quantities. It is sold on BBQ’s on every street corner at the event. I can also say that the Fried Chicken shops on the Harrow Road (Large West Indian community for non Londoners) do a roaring trade all year round….So putting the Ad into context, you have a lone aussie fan surrounded by opposition supporters who are being rowdy…he is sick of them being so noisy and wants to shut them up…To do so he gets a huge bucket of the something they like…Turn the whole thing around, place a West Indian fan among the Aussies, have him buy a slab of VB or XXXX or Fosters etc and get the same result, would any Aussie’s complain about being portrayed as beer drinkinging slobs? No, they would probably laugh at the intended humour…Same with an English crowd and Fish n Chips or a Pint of beer….Think some people are being over sensitive and should try and get a sense of humour

  61. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    2:08 pm

  62. To Adam Paull – I honestly do not think I am being overly sensitive. I just want to highlight that it is very easy to pass things off as a little bit of humour when in actual fact, they are very loaded and hurtful to the people concerned. I am sure the agency that created it was aware of the connotations contained within the piece and is reveling in the extra publicity and media attention.
    In much the same way that people would argue that the piece is harmless, some would argue that the Matty Johns sex scandal was a media blow up [edited]
    It is just a little bit of humour on television, no harm done. Really, really? In the same way that using women as self-pleasure machines takes us back several generations, so does portray black people in such light.

  63. Adam Paull
    8 Jan 10
    2:11 pm

  64. Andrew, I think you need a lie down… and you might want to sell your television.

  65. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    2:13 pm

  66. Do not get me wrong, I do love Australia and absolutely adore Melbourne for all the things that make it a brilliant place to live. I just want to highlight to readers here why the advertisement was considered racist in America and why I also took offense to it.
    David Watts – I totally agree to what you are saying. But the fried chicken thing does have deeper roots to slavery and all the negative caricatures that came from that.

  67. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    2:14 pm

  68. Adam Paull – I like your sense of humour. (See, I do laugh at myself). And for the record, I cannot sell my television, I could not live without Foxtel and I love advertising!

  69. Jooja
    8 Jan 10
    2:24 pm

  70. Softest move ever, by KFC. Tell the Americans where to go and keep they ad on air. No Australians (nor ‘West Indians’ – not that there are actually such people, it’s a group of nations put together to form a cricket team) were offended, the publicity would be great.


  71. Adam Paull
    8 Jan 10
    2:31 pm

  72. good to hear Andrew… but don’t get me started on Foxtel…

  73. dogwithabone
    8 Jan 10
    2:37 pm

  74. Ah, tolerant Australia, where a contrary opinion is given that age old remedy…a lie down.
    or perhaps we should give him some chicken?

  75. Tony
    8 Jan 10
    2:58 pm

  76. I agree with Andrew that the ad is offensive as it depicts a calm, rational white man surrounded by feverish black people who can only be placated by throwing food at them. While there’s nothing wrong with having a sense of humour, we should avoid reinforcing stereotypes.

  77. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    3:02 pm

  78. dogwithabone – I am sure some people would rather I took my bucket of extra crispy chicken and went home. But I guess they are the narrow-minded ingrates who we do not need in civil society.

  79. The Differentiator
    8 Jan 10
    3:14 pm

  80. “I just want to highlight to readers here why the advertisement was considered racist in America and why I also took offense to it.”
    @Andrew: I don’t think you have done a very good job at doing either.

    Prior to this issue, I was personally aware that there is a negative connotation in the US about fried chicken and racism/slavery, but despite your comments and the vague news reports in the media, I am still ignorant regarding the substantive associations.

    But then again, what has that got to do with Australia?

  81. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    3:29 pm

  82. The Differentiator – well let me try and break it down for you:
    – There are several caricatures/racial stereotypes/insensitive slurs that are used to belittle not only African Americans but black people as well. Subjugate or portray them as simpletons (Hang on, am I considered African Australian now?)
    – These include, the supposed love of all things fried, especially chicken and watermelon (give a n****r some chicken and he will be fine).
    – These include, us all looking the same, having abnormally large noses and thicker skulls (with smaller brains) or large (larger than Lisa Rinna) lips. You see all these in 1930s and 1940s cartoons.
    – The list goes on.

    So, to the majority of Americans or black people who found this KFC advertisement offensive, they must have been wondering how, in 2010, with Obama in the White House and all the developments that we have, a multinational corporation such as KFC, can sanction such an advertisement, or Channel 9 air such a skit.

  83. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    3:32 pm

  84. I admit, the advertisement has little to do with Australia as slavery did not happen here (…wait, that is debatable is it not?) but surely as consumers of media and players in the communications industry we can examine issues and engage in discourse from a global perspective? Look at other things critically, other than those in our own backyards?

  85. Joel Pearson
    8 Jan 10
    3:40 pm

  86. I don’t understand how it can be considered as “re-enforcing racial stereotypes” when it is part of a series of ads which all feature the same plot; the main character facing an aggressor or hostile party (be it security, the opposing team, etc) and calming/bribing them with some delicious KFC chicken.

    Also might I add that The Windies team has been doing TVC’s for KFC for years in which they, themselves eat fried chicken. (there was an awesome one in the 90’s for hot and spicy chicken)

    Have we really reached a level of over sensitivity where anyone with dark skin cannot be shown eating chicken no matter how much they like it because to show it is considered wrong?

  87. Andrew Juma
    8 Jan 10
    3:44 pm

  88. No Joel, we cannot. Black people do not eat chicken at all. It hurts too much.

    Of course we can – but just be aware of the connotations and what the scenario denotes to the people. You would not have a Hungry Jacks advertisement with Hindus salivating over the latest Angus burger and not expect static for it. Or celebrate the 5 cent coin, now with added ’roundness’ – watch it roll down the street as the Jews chase it. They might be funny and harmless to some, but they are loaded and just not right.

  89. Justin
    8 Jan 10
    3:50 pm

  90. I think Chris Kamen says it perfectly – see his post above – although I have heard from many sources that the India blow-up is very real and widespread there. Not that Im an authority but no one I’ve spoken to in the US had heard of the Harry Connick Jr Hey Hey deal, and I doubt they’ve heard of this.

  91. Joel Pearson
    8 Jan 10
    3:51 pm

  92. But West Indians are not African American. Jewish people are Jewish.

    A more accurate comparison would be a non-Jewish white person chasing a 5 cent coin around. Is that offensive? I’m sure I’ve seen an ad with that in it before.

  93. John Grono
    8 Jan 10
    3:58 pm

  94. Andrew, you make a point. Just as you wouldn’t make a beer ad with men marching behind a banner reading “Men Who Won’t Eat Quiche” or “Cashed Up Bogans”. Oh … hang on .. we did … and we loved it.

    The point you are making is weak. It just proves that no matter what you come up with you can manage to offend someone somewhere in the world. If mutitudes were offended then the line would have clearly been stepped over. The fact that the ad COULD be construed with that association (an off-shore association at that) is unfortunate.

    I’m truly sorry that you construed this ad as offensive. I also sincerely hope that no grievous injury or harm has been done. Can we all just move on now?

  95. The Differentiator
    8 Jan 10
    4:00 pm

  96. “Look at other things critically, other than those in our own backyards?”

    This is the very problem. US citizens and those who may have been offended by the KFC ad (and possibly the Red Faces skit) have interpreted these occurrences from their own cultural and psycholgical perspective. They have done so without taking into consideration the cultural context in which they emanate.

    Granted, such occurrences in the US would rightly be interpreted as racist – but should Australians be judged within an American cultural context?

  97. Mark
    8 Jan 10
    8:51 pm

  98. This debate has been considerably more rational than other on this topic – well done folks!! I am 100% convinced that this add is not racist in an Australian context (no need to re-itterate the reasons) – and that is the only context that matters in this discussion. I am concerned about the the logical conclusion of the assertions being made by Americans (and other offended ppl) in this discussion. Are we to undertake a worldwide survey of who may be offended by something before it goes to air – I think not, that would be rediculous!! But this is the logical end point of the arguement being put forward by the “offended” camp. The US needs to realise that the whole world is not viewed through their prism of reality – at the end of the day they only make up 4.5% of the world’s population – don’t expect the rest of the world to view the world the same way you do.

    I think far too many PC people actively go looking for anything that MAY be remotely construed as offensive and then blow it out of all proportion – folks, take a bex, have a snooze and if that doesn’t work mix some cement into your coffee and harden up!!

  99. Brenda
    9 Jan 10
    1:21 am

  100. “I just want to highlight that it is very easy to pass things off as a little bit of humour when in actual fact, they are very loaded and hurtful to the people concerned.”

    It’s interesting you say that, given that a spokeswoman from the West Indies spoke on Channel 9 news the other night with a slightly bemused expression on her face, saying that West Indians are not offended in the slightest and understand the context in which the ad was made. I would consider them the “people concerned”, not foreign consumers policing the world from their computer. As they didn’t find it loaded or hurtful, I don’t really see what the issue is.

  101. scomae
    9 Jan 10
    9:59 pm

  102. I don’t think there is much more that needs to be said to the wowsers in the world that have nothing better to do than find the smallest thing to whinge about.. I am true blue aussie and proud of it in every way possible, except when we bow to the whingers of the world and conform. PPL from other countries that get offended.. well fk off and stop tuning in to aussie TV and wowsers in australia who are offended.. where is your allegiance.. are you not australian? have you not pledged your allegiance to this great country. If you are so concerned about preserving your cultural values and are yet to understand that the majority of aussies are very light hearted and not racist, well without sounding racist, fk off back to the great place you came from and then you will never have to put up with the free flowing, ocker mentality that you must endure every day. (no, i am not racist.. my group of friends could be considered the united nations) and guess what, i call a lebanese, a leb, a chinaman a slope etc and in turn they refer to me as a convict (obviously within my own world, this would be offensive if said to someone who is a stranger, but you will realise as you become more australian, these are terms of endearment most of the time rather than a racist attack.

  103. scomae
    9 Jan 10
    10:05 pm

  104. just one more thing.. aussies love cultural diversity and the great things that come with it, but we are who we are, so if your intention of becoming australian is to make the BEST country in the world better by changing it, well in reality you never have any intention of truly becoming aussie.

  105. scomae
    9 Jan 10
    10:18 pm

  106. one more thing whilst i am on my soapbox.. As Adam Paull indicated, SIMPSONS, SOUTH PARK, FAMILY GUY!!! Do we need to say anymore and i agree with Adam, don’t stop because it is funny and if you don’t like it, you have a choice to turn it off. i personally cannot stand SOUTH PARK, but it does astound me that a country that judges everybody can tolerate such filth and racism coming from their owm backyard…

  107. Yesterday's News
    11 Jan 10
    11:29 am

  108. Andrew, I think you must be looking for things to offend you. Perhaps you should consider living in a bubble?

    This is Australia, not America. We didn’t kidnap black people and import them as slaves and oppress them with fried chicken and watermelons. We imported convicts instead and made them eat…all kinds of crap, as well as put up with it. I don’t hear the descendants kicking up a stink every time there’s a convict parody on TV. The people in questions were West Indian, not African American, and they can’t understand all the fuss. Let’s move on.

    Oh, and I stand by what I said in my earlier post – and no, having black friends doesn’t make me an expert on race relations but then I never implied it did. By the way, we used to eat friend chicken together all the time 😉

  109. anon1
    11 Jan 10
    2:08 pm

  110. There is so much (typical) Australian defensiveness on this issue.

    The fact is that whoever made this ad KNEW about the stereotype and clearly thought, in a puerile and pathetic way, that it would add another level of “daring” “humour” while ostensibly appearing acceptable in Australia because the stereotype doesn’t exist, at least to the same extent.

    Taking another country’s racism and claming it’s “only humour” in your own country is not funny, or useful, or constructive.

    And the overall result has been to make Australia look racist, backwards and unapologetic in the international press. Yet again.

  111. The Differentiator
    11 Jan 10
    2:12 pm

  112. anon1 – i think you are giving too much credit to the people at SOM

  113. Mark
    11 Jan 10
    7:34 pm

  114. Hey anon1 – if that is your name……….. nice to see you are psychic and obviously can read the minds of the makers – you must be soooo talented! I said it nicely in my earlier post, now I’l spell it out in small words for you. Australians are not being “typically” Australian – we are being typical “the rest of the world” (other than America). Bottom line is the rest of the world objects to Americans forcing their limited view of the world down its collective gullet – regardless of the issue! [NOTE: I know not all Yanks are like this, but guys like you are pretty good at giving that impression]. I know that other folks around the planet feel the same way, I have lived in the UK and Europe for a considerable amount of time [do you think the French like being characterised as surrender monkies, and the Brits enjoy being portrayed as conservative stiffs] . If you tried this crap with a Brit you would get as big a serve – if not bigger. Pull your head in and stop being such a crap ambassador for your nation.

  115. Mark
    11 Jan 10
    8:22 pm

  116. PS anon1 – you consider “the Young Turks” to be international media?! Rank ammateurs more like. If I was Turkish I would be offended that they borrowed my nationality to name such an abismal excuse for jounalism.

  117. Aplet
    11 Jan 10
    10:56 pm

  118. @Brenda – I doubt that the Windies would go on TV and say they were offended – they’re sponsored by KFC.

  119. Lavinia will 'bitch' now...
    12 Jan 10
    2:56 pm

  120. Only two complaints?

    I’m surprised – everyone should know by now that complaining is useless.

    The ASB is useless. Its composition is as about as un representational (is that a word?)of the population as the people employed in the industry it ‘oversees’.

    I don’t work in the industry, but I’m a regular handbag at industry events, my stupid friend works in the business and drags me along to prove he has ‘real’ friends….anyway… I feel like the token Asian(and gay) in the room sometimes.

    Ok, so if you are in the industry, next time you’re in a group of your ‘peers’ have a look around, then ask yourself if the people surrounding you are in anyway representational of the ethnic and cultural mix in Australia.

    I’ve seldom seen more white middle class people from nice families in one place.

    It’s sweet really. I’m happy they have a place to hang out together.

    Sure, there are exceptions(and no, you can’t count the Indians in IT or the Asian designers) but those exceptions are exceptional.

    Love and kisses.


  121. John Grono
    12 Jan 10
    3:22 pm

  122. Lavinia … it’s “unrepresentative”.

    And speaking of being representative – that’s the female gay Asian quota taken care of on Mumbrella! Thanks Lavinia.

  123. anon1
    13 Jan 10
    10:10 am

  124. “Bottom line is the rest of the world objects to Americans forcing their limited view of the world down its collective gullet – regardless of the issue!”

    I fully agree. However with this ad, someone – deliberately, let’s not be naive – took a racist stereotype that exists in the US and tried, unsuccessfully, to subvert it.

  125. The Differentiator
    13 Jan 10
    10:36 am

  126. anon1 – you cannot say that! you don’t know what they were thinking (unless you know something you are not sharing). the associations regarding fried chicken and African Americans are not that well known here. Besides, the Windies cricketers ARE sponsored by KFC – don’t you think it is possible that this is why West Indians were used in the ad?

  127. John Grono
    13 Jan 10
    12:03 pm

  128. Let’s turn this one upside down on its head.

    Would anyone seriously think that a sunscreen ad which showed people lying face-down on the beach tanning should be banned?

    What if is showed the soles of their feet? Of course in Muslim country that is considered highly offensive – something I learned back in 1985 during my first visit to a Muslim country.

    Of course they wouldn’t because in Australia we do not have the more. However, in a Muslim country you would be culturally sensitive and ensure that didn’t happen.

    In Australia, the association between fried chicken is weak at best if not non-existent. Of course in the US it is strong and therefore offensive.

    But folks, this was an AUSTRALIAN ad. It should be judged bu our social mores. The fact that some people in the US were able to view the ad via YouTube and make the association is an unfortunate consequence of the Internet and globalisation

    It seems to me that there are two options to ensure that you don’t happen to offend someone somewhere in the world. The first is to make your ads so PC and sterile that no-one could possibly take offence – mind you no-one would notice them so why bother. The second is to shut down the Internet in case someone gets offended.

    Oh … the third is to accept that someone somewhere in the world will take offence at anything, and accept that is the price to be paid. I fall into the latter category. On with business folks.

  129. scomae
    14 Jan 10
    12:00 pm

  130. touche’ John Grono!!!!!!!

  131. Anonymous
    14 Jan 10
    6:34 pm

  132. Anyone seen the “He who thinks Australian, drinks Australian” Fosters ads that ran in the UK?
    Seriously, if anyone wants to complain about racist slander it’s be us, but true to our nature, we see the irreverance of it. Not worth whinging about.
    KFC, shame they had to apologise for something that was not much of a saga at all.

  133. Bargain Bucket
    24 Jan 10
    9:54 am

  134. I don’t think this is racist at all.

    It is an Aussie cricket fan in a sea of Windies fans. He feels intimidated (as an Aussie might well do in a sea of Pom’s, Saffa’s, Indians.) KFC have a ‘crowd pleaser’ bucket and as a result he builds some rapport with the crowd around him because he is able to share his food with others – a very nice gesture.

    The ad is not racist – people perceive the ad to be racist because there are black people being offered fried chicken – which sadly is a well known stereotype used by racists about black people. Perhaps Tetley should launch a rival advert and get an Aussie in a sea of Pom’s – The Aussie is feeling intimidated and the Pom’s are giving him loads of stick. The Aussie comes back with a Tetley ‘giant tea pot’ and gives everyone a cup of tea and they lay off him a little. “Tea for the Pom” – could be some sort of slogan…

    OK I am off to protest outside KFC, after a nice cup of tea first…

  135. Kate
    2 Feb 10
    10:32 am

  136. I think this so-called furore says more about the modern application of the term racist/racism than it does about Australia.

    Eating fried chicken is not racism or racist.

    Non-African Americans eating fried chicken does not suggest that those some non-African Americans are in any way simpletons. So why is it that people with American cultural sensitivities think that seeing an African American eating fried chicken implies this African American must be a simpleton?

    This American cultural sensitivity to the image of African Americans eating fried chicken is in itself racist (the sensitivity, not the image).

    Pity the African American who actually likes fried chicken. The disapproving looks he or she must get…..

    A side note – just a week back I witnessed a teenage girl who wanted to colour her hair some outrageous colour (Pink I think it was) saying to her mum “but you can’t stop me, it’s racist!” Seriously people, when we use the term of racist/racism in a way which it does not apply to, we devalue its connotation.

  137. Kate
    2 Feb 10
    10:36 am

  138. Disclaimer: My comment in no way supports the eating of KFC.

  139. Kate
    2 Feb 10
    10:41 am

  140. Sorry – hate to repost – but just for the sake of accuracy…

    Yes slavery did exist in Australia.

    (1) Slaves were brought in to Australia to work in Queensland.

    (Would have to be the bloody Queenslanders, wouldn’t it…)

    (2) While not historically referred to as slavery, the way in which some Aboriginal peoples movements and wages were controlled in some states could be argued as a form of slavery, or at least, a type of imprisonment without trial.


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