Is This Volkswagen Super Bowl Ad Racist?
Here it is: The first Super Bowl ad controversy, courtesy of Volkswagen. They previewed their ad online this week, and a lot of people think it's RACIST. The ad is called "Get Happy", and here it is in a nutshell: All these office workers are miserable except "Dave", a very white guy from Minnesota who's so cheery that he speaks in a Jamaican accent. Why? Because he drives a VW Beetle.
At the end of the clip, Dave takes his boss and another coworker for a ride in the Bug, and then THEY have Jamaican accents, too. (Here's the ad.)
Volkswagen thinks the ad is okay, because they ran it for 100 JAMAICANS, and they all thought it was cool. Also, they consulted a speech coach to make sure the accent was accurate.
They also have MATT LAUER on their side. On the "Today" show yesterday, he said he DOESN'T think it's racist. Check it out here to watch the discussion he and the other hosts had yesterday morning.
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Apparently, Volkswagen has other ads to run in place of this one, just in case public opinion doesn't go their way. (And we don't think there's any doubt they leaked this one early to gauge that.)