Is this Offensive? [Thai Dunkin' Donuts blackface ad]

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by citizenzen, Aug 31, 2013.

?

Offensive?

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
    12.2%
  2. No

    36 vote(s)
    87.8%
  1. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #1
    As a graphic designer—and staunch [white] liberal—my initial reaction is that this is not racist and shouldn't be seen as offensive. This kind of use of color in advertising design is very common, and people have been painted every hue under the sun. Is black out of bounds? I don't think it should be. IMO, it would be offensive if you colored the person black and then attributed some racially stereotypical behavior. But that doesn't appear to be the case in this ad.

    Though there are some things I question ...

    • "Charcoal Donut" — sounds terrible. Who came up with that?

    • "Break every rule of deliciousness" — This is the one aspect of the ad that borders on insensitive to me. How is the color black associated with breaking rules? This is a tagline that should never have gotten past the brainstorm stage.

    • If they had used a black model, would it have been any more or less offensive? It seems to me that pairing a black model with a "Charcoal Donut" wouldn't have been any less offensive than painting a model black.
     
  2. skottichan macrumors 6502a

    skottichan

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    Columbus, OH
    #2
    I can see that it's offensive in the same way that other uses of "blackface" in culture is.

    It's pretty much emulating this;

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Metatron macrumors 6502

    Metatron

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    Jul 2, 2002
    #3
    I agree, I see nothing racist about it...as a staunch [white] conservative. But we live in a PC world with Facebook users. So everyone is oversensitive and wants to make news/drama. A charcoal donut does sound awful, and I think a black model would have made this news worse. How it breaks the rules...your guess is a good as mine. Maybe Thailand is more PC about race?
     
  4. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The difference is that the example you posted was supposed to "be" a black person. Anything that person did was intended to reflect on the black race and the stereotypes associated with it.

    Was there any similar connection with the person in the ad?

    I don't see it. I just see a woman painted black.
     
  5. skottichan macrumors 6502a

    skottichan

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    #5
    I think it's more of a mix of a "first glance" and the fact that tacit racism isn't dead. Also, it's not my place as a white woman, to tell people of color what they should or shouldn't be offended by. If people find it racist, it's their prerogative, it's like men trying to tell me that Dr Pepper 10's initial ad campaign wasn't inherently sexist.

    While this ad isn't overt as say Dr Pepper 10's, I can still see why some people are up in arms about it. It's blackface, but was it meant to be hurtful on purpose, I doubt it. It's like people on this site using "girly" in a negative context to describe iOS7's color palette, it is sexist in that tacit way.

    Personally, looking at it from a design standpoint, it seems kind of lazy. I think they could have done it a lot better, I would have gone with someone mining them (and yes, I know charcoal is the byproduct of burned wood).
     
  6. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #6
    I'm not offended. If anybody is, they need to get a grip.
     
  7. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #7
    Good points. I'd be curious to hear the opinions from any members of color here in PRSI.

    As to the ad concept, yes it was lazy, relying on the trite "put you product in the hands of a young, pretty woman" and that will sell.

    But wait ... here's a really wild and crazy idea ... let's take that young, pretty woman and paint her black.

    How original.

    :rolleyes:

    I like your mining idea better.
     
  8. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #8
  9. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    Jul 5, 2012
    #9
    Yes, as a white conservative you probably don't find anything offensive about something racially insensitive about black people.

    I wonder why.

    *hint: Not calling you a racist.
     
  10. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

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    #10
    No, not offensive. Still have to wonder why they didn't just use a black model though?

    >
     
  11. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #11
    They likely just found a cheap model and she happened to be white.

    Even if it is cringe-worthy, it likely wasn't meant to be racist. It was just a poor decision.
     
  12. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    America's Third World
    #12
    Here's what the video version of the ad looks like:

     
  13. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #13
    I take it back, that's horrible. -_-
     
  14. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #14
    Well, if you're not offended, that pretty much settles that matter.

    And anyone who sees thing differently from you, and perhaps has a reasonable rationale for that difference of opinion, needs to "get a grip"?

    No hubris here....nope.:rolleyes:
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #15

    I'm not going to get drawn into the hideous lack of self-awareness over the supposed neutrality of the white male gaze and how citizenzen is seeking affirmation for his views from an audience of predominantly young white male nerds... who just can't get what the problem is.

    For a start, go pose the same question to an audience that matters in this instance, like black women.

    But damn. That donut looks burnt. Not edible at all.
     
  16. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    That's a very bizarre claim.

    Where does that come from?

    ----------

    I have no control of the audience in this forum.
     
  17. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #17
    But you would have an idea of the demographic found here.
     
  18. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #18
    It's one of those things that wouldn't be offensive in isolation. It's not really degrading anyone, or leaning on any stereotypes.

    Though as pointed out above, it does look uncomfortably close to blackface, which...you know...has connotations. So you could say it's offensive by association. BUT...

    My opinion is that I can understand why some people are offended by it, but the more important aspect are the intentions of the creator moreso than the knee-jerk reactions of some of the audience. As long as there's something more to it than just shock value, then the implied meaning takes precedence over the assumed. Just because it could remind some people of something bad doesn't necessarily mean it's terrible and insensitive by default.
     
  19. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    And?

    This is the forum where I discuss social and political issues.

    Are we only supposed to discuss issue that fit the demographic of the users here?

    When has that requirement been imposed before?

    And what is the demographic, anyway?

    I'm not intelligent enough to have figured it out.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  21. Jesla macrumors 6502

    Jesla

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    #21
    Absolutely Not…to answer the OP's question…..

    And I do not need to validate my position….

    :cool:
     
  22. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #22
    Why? Unburnt doughnuts have all the advantages.

    Check your glaze.
     
  23. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

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    Location:
    Geneva
    #23
    Errr the ad was made in Thailand for a well ... Thai audience. What does white male gaze have to do with it? Unless the agency responsible was in the US and some white dude thought it up.

    That said I cringed ... and the doughnut looks pretty gross.
     
  24. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

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    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    #24
    I like it. I want a donut now.
     
  25. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #25
    What's up with the hairdo? I think the combination of black faced and that hairdo is what probably turned some heads.

    Truth is ..... Some black women still rock those types of hair styles, they even have black hair shows which many styles are similar to this one. If they just kept the hair the same when she was white(referring to video), I doubt anyone would have taken it the wrong way.

    Definitely not racist, but even I would glance twice.

    Now let me tell you what's racist ........ Those Popeyes Cajun commercials.
     

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