Australia have scrapped this advert for KFC amid accusations of racial insensitivity. There were complaints from the U.S. that the film plays on what they see as a negative racial stereotype – linking black people with a love of fried chicken. Even though the commercial features West Indies cricket fans.
KFC have apologised, saying the commercial was meant to be “light-hearted” and any offence was “unintended”.
The blogosphere weren’t slow to pick this up. This blogger says it is racist and posts an old KFC advert he finds just as offensive. (This link contains strong language). On a different tip, this blogger says everyone should “get the hell over it, … this ad was meant for Australian audiences, who aren’t as saddled with guilt as we Yanks are over this matter.” Brendan O’Connor, assistant professor at the University of Sydney told Australian broadcaster 9 Network News that the fried chicken stereotype is a US only issue. He says Americans “have a tendency to think that their history is more important than that of other countries.”
A poll on New York daily news website shows 69% of people find the advert “lighthearted and fun”, whilst 27% say it “plays on stereotypes”.
So what’s your take? Are the people who don’t like it being too touchy? Where do you draw the line when it comes to cultural sensitivities?