KFC Aussie Cricket Ad: Give Fried Chicken to ‘Awkward’ Black Crowd (Video)

January 5, 2010


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13 Responses to “KFC Aussie Cricket Ad: Give Fried Chicken to ‘Awkward’ Black Crowd (Video)”

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  3. Lachie on January 5th, 2010 7:35 am

    I’ve seen a few things about this article, and I have to say that I don’t think it’s racist.

    - The “awkward situation” is that he’s surrounded by people on the other team (the West Indies) I’ve been in situations like that before, and it is extremely awkward, and he is exasperated because he can’t concentrate on the game. He uses KFC as a means to connect with the people around him (this theme has been used several times in KFC ads in Australia)

    - The reason the West Indies supporters were used was because they were touring at the time (Pakistan is touring now), and had another team, say New Zealand or South Africa, been touring, supporters from those countries would have been used in the ad. The fact is that the team is interchangeable, and could be any of the 9 other teams that play test cricket.

    - The ad is one in a series that depicts the man (who is not a cricket player, just a fan) using KFC chicken as… bribes, for lack of a better term, in other ads he dresses up as a security guard and jumps over the stands into the sidelines. He then uses a KFC wrap to bribe a nearby security guard to ignore his presence.

    - The “Black people like fried chicken” stereotype, the way I’ve always seen it, only applies to African-Americans, not Afro-Caribbeans or even people native to Africa. To go further, that particular stereotype doesn’t even exist in Australian culture, only young people who watch too much U.S TV would be aware of it, and people in Australia would not have made the connection. On top of that, Black people make up a very small (less than 1%) minority in Australia, most of whom come from Sudan or South Africa, not the Caribbean or the U.S. People will say ignorance is not an excuse, but it is, people can’t be expected to be fully aware of other nations and stereotypes they associate with certain groups of people, I bet most people aren’t aware of stereotypes in Japan or Germany or Latvia. The fact is that we are all ignorant in some way, and aren’t aware of everything around the world, and honestly, most people stereotype, nations or cultures or races. I don’t think stereotyping based on race is racist, just as I don’t think stereotyping based on nationality is xenophobic.

    Yes, I think it’s unfortunate, and perhaps it would be best if it was pulled, possibly re-filmed replaced with New Zealand fans, but it doesn’t serve to advance any stereotypes of black people. Sorry for the long response.

  4. Sue on January 5th, 2010 8:51 am

    Lachie:

    Thank you for your excellent commentary. You make a good point. The “blacks eat fried chicken” stereotype seems to be an American-based form of racism. And most likely, Australians were not aware of it when producing the ad. However, we now live in a global Internet age and once something like the KFC ad in question is flagged as offensive by certain groups of people, it should be removed.

    Thank you for your long response!

    Sue

  5. Lachie on January 5th, 2010 10:16 am

    Sue:
    Yes, I agree it should be removed. It’s just unfortunate that what, hopefully, are a few coincidences allowed for the real message of the ad to be forgotten among talk about racism.

  6. Elliott on January 5th, 2010 11:00 am

    The way you have simplified it is a black vs white topic is offensive to me.

    Race doesn’t even play a part in the advertisment, if you need help simplifying the advertisment… It is an Aussie cricket fan stuck in a group of West Indies supporters, who uses the sponsoring product to calm down the opposition fans so he can watch the cricket match in peace.

    Yes, it just happens the majority of Australians are from Anglo-Saxon heritage and West Indians from African and Indian heritage. However, anyone who views the ad as a white guy sitting amongst black people has issues. I have never even considered that it could be seen as that until now.

  7. Byrne on January 5th, 2010 8:15 pm

    We cannot keep pandering to the American ideas of political correctness. The sins of their past should not be lumbered onto the rest of the world.
    Lachie has made a valid point and if it were an English team playing at the time, the ad would have appeared with the Barmy Army and not West Indians.

  8. John Long on January 5th, 2010 10:58 pm

    Sue

    You are correct about this being a global market now, but entirely incorrect in your conclusion. The fact that Americans have their own local sensitivities about African Americans eating fried chicken, based on your country rising to greatness through black slavery should not come into this. In Australia we built our country with white slave labor (the convicts) and our only experience with the West Indians is through cricket, where in Australia they achieve almost god-like status for their good-sportsmanship and class behavior both on and off the pitch. In our country (Australia), where we work hard NOT to discriminate people by race, the race of the team was seen as incidental. But you say because they’re black – it is therefore racist, which is in itself an absurd racial discrimination. You wouldn’t have complained if they were white, would you?? So its you in your politically-correct confused state, and your own American racist mores, that is now guilty. And its YOU, Sue, and the rest of America, who need to get global.

  9. JAL on January 5th, 2010 11:08 pm

    Yes, the “black people eat fried chicken” stereotype is one which is unheard of in Australia. You American’s amuse me with your Roman Empire view of the world. An American tourist visiting Australia once told me “Gee you guys must be so racist, where are your Negros?” The answer, as John put it above, is that we didn’t force them into our country in the millions as slaves. Today, Australia is a very successful multicultural country, without your American hang-ups. Deal with it.

  10. JAL on January 5th, 2010 11:25 pm

    Do you withdraw beef advertisements in America because Hindus in India might be offended by the concept of people eating beef? Your own local sensitivities are your own problem. Their is nothing racist about the add intended or perceived by the parties involved (Australians and West-Indians). Maybe America should take a good hard look at itself if it finds this offensive.

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  12. Alice on January 8th, 2010 8:56 pm

    The fact that some Americans seem hell-bent on accusing Aussies of being racists only demonstrates their own ignorance and limited international experience, as it seems they are unable, or perhaps unwilling, to see past the ‘obvious’ black vs white racist connotations of the ad. Perhaps the reason Aussies are not offended by the ad is that we only see a group of West Indies supporters and an Australian supporter sitting in the stands at a cricket match, and yes, fried chicken (KFC happens to sponsor the cricket) is cleverly used to calm everybody down because it tastes so good. I know it sounds crazy, but perhaps the reason nobody in Australia is offended by the ad is because we live autonomously with literally hundreds of different nationalities in our community and their colour doesn’t matter. It’s counter intuitive for those of us who have a nation built on slavery I suppose, but come on people, try your hardest to understand that in the land down under, that ain’t how we roll.

  13. Matt on January 9th, 2010 8:30 pm

    It’s not racist in Australia, or even in the Caribbean. If West Indian people had been offended KFC would have been right to junk the ad. But some Americans watched it on the Internet, with no understanding of the (overally excellent) relationship between West Indians and Australians through cricket, they reckoned it was “racist” because of American … I don’t even know what it is … because black people supposedly like fried chicken? They’ve applied an American prejudice that most Australians might had a passing knowledge of, but would never have entertained it in the context of the skin colour … it would have been the same as an Aussie on his own in an England soccer crowd, or a New Zealand rugby crowd … or an American in a crowd full of Canadians or whatever. Context is everything. You can’t view how other countries do things through your own prism. If there’s a television advertisement on American television that offends people in Belgium, Somalia and/or Iceland, do they pull it off the television?

    I would suggest not.

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