Now some people have this view that if others take offence, then it should be taken seriously. Maybe… but then you also have to draw the line somewhere. And I draw the line before this guy:
A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were watching TV at home when the advert for comparethemarket.com appeared on our screen. I had seen the ad before and not thought anything of it. However on this occasion, my girlfriend, who is Ukrainian, turned to me and said: “I don’t like this advert, it is very offensive to me.” I mentioned it to a friend who said his Latvian lodger also found it offensive.
The advertisement centres on the word “market” â€“ a word that eastern Europeans/Russians pronounce “meerkat” â€“ using talking CGI-animated meerkats. The sole point of this African animal’s appearance is, it seems, to highlight the idea that east Europeans cannot pronounce the word market properly when they speak English. It struck me how racist it was to parody what is now a significant part of the British population in this way. It also occurred to me that were the ad to use stereotypical Indian or Caribbean accents in the same way it would never be allowed on TV.
Consider the fact that there are actually programmes and commericals that mimicked Indian and Caribbean accents. The Lilt commericial was one. Goodness Gracious Me made a whole successful series out of mimicking Asian attributes.
Also, why did the guy feel like mentioning that a Meerkat was ‘African’? I think what he’s really taking offence at is that Eastern Europeans are being mimicked by African animals. Racist!!!! Well, I’m offended dammit.
Honestly, some people. [via John Band]
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Filed in: Humour,Race politics