Salesgenie.com President Apologizes For Offensive SuperBowl Commercials

Salesgenie.com president Vinod Gupta has apologized for two offensive SuperBowl ads featuring animated pandas that spoke with painfully stereotypical “Chinese” accents and an “animated salesman named Ramesh who speaks with an Indian or other South Asian accent.”:

“We never thought anyone would be offended,” said Mr. Gupta, who developed and wrote both commercials himself.

“The pandas are Chinese,” he said. “They don’t speak German.”

Still, “if I offended anybody,” Mr. Gupta said, “believe me, I apologize.”

Mr. Gupta says his company will pull the panda ad.

An Ad With Talking Pandas, Maybe, but Not With Chinese Accents [New York Times]

Comments

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  1. This is the same guy who sold lists of gullible seniors. And he also didn’t take it seriously.

  2. The Porkchop Express says:

    Pandas are chinese, and if were are going to have talking animals they are bound to have accents.

  3. What about the one where the Indian gentleman was the phone guy, they showed him having like 8 kids, and being pushed around by a asshole white guy? I cringed just as much at that one as I did at the Panda’s.

  4. deadlizard says:

    Maybe a company that sells your info to telemarketers and the like should just keep their crappy advertising out of TV.

  5. Tank says:

    I wasn’t offended by either one. He needs to stop losing sleep and sell something.

  6. shan6 says:

    I could see offense being taken because of the stereotypes being overblown. But beyond that, I say let the animals from CHINA be CHINESE. And as far as the salesman goes, is it a bad thing to have diversity and equal opportunity in commercials? It’s not like he was driving a cab…

  7. @Lo-Pan: Pandas may LIVE in China, but they don’t have to have that accent. What if the add showed German Shepard’s bossing around other dogs in heavy German accents. I’m guessing there would be offense to that.

  8. GothamGal says:

    Maybe if we dress the pandas as pimps that would help.

  9. shan6 says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Let’s just make the Dukes of Hazard well-spoken gentlemen, problem solved?

  10. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: I wonder when accents became something that people shoudl find offensive.

  11. Its The Beer Talking says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Panda’s don’t talk either. But Chinese people do, and they generally would speak with that accent if English was their second language.

    I can’t believe all of the commotion about this. It’s not like the panda’s were saying, “Ah so! Me so solly!”. What, did people expect them to speak with the same inflection as their local news anchor?

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is why you NEVER let the boss unleash his alleged creative tendencies outside of his immediate area of expertise.

    EVER.

  13. noquarter says:

    They were both bad, but I thought they were less offensive than previous years’ ads from Salesgenie – in which the stereotypical white guy’s kid loves him more since he went to Salesgenie and started making more money. It ends with him driving up in a new car and giving her a pair of puppies.

  14. LoveNoelG says:

    I didn’t see the panda ads, but I cringed my way through the “Indian guy” ads. Very poor taste and a total waste of money. A dumb, vaguely racist cartoon is the best they can do for the Superbowl?

  15. Anonymous says:

    @GITEMSTEVEDAVE

    Would a Kangaroo or Koala speaking with an Australian accent be deemed offensive? What about that cute little Chihuahua from the Taco Bell commercials? Didn’t think so. Leave the Chinese Pandas be.

  16. My thing is that if you prohibit other “stereo-types” from being shown, why allow others. You know the world we live in, and the outrage anything causes. It should have been a no-brainier. Maybe you reap what you sow after this and this. Profiting on the elderly is bad.

  17. Bay State Darren says:

    I find it kinda funny that Vinod Gupta has to apologize for offending people with a stereotype of his own culture.

  18. quagmire0 says:

    I’m more offended by the crappy product he sells, quite frankly. :)

  19. @DrGirlfriend: @Its The Beer Talking: Talk to Opie and Anthony, and how they get fined/punished for using accents. Even acting on their best behavior.

  20. Maude Buttons says:

    I just thought Asians were smarter than that.

  21. Tracy Ham and Eggs as played by Walter Mondale says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: It wasnt just the accents though. It was the bad spelling on the signs, the bamboo furniture and car, the crappy merchandise and the way they were shown being stupid. I cringed as I saw it, and almost everyone I know did to.

  22. PinkBox says:

    They do worse than this on the Simpsons… I don’t understand all the fuss.

  23. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Translation:

    We’re ‘sorry’ *wink*.

    If their ads hadn’t been racist, nobody would be talking about SalesGenie.com. They got just what they were looking for.

  24. RandomHookup says:

    Vinod, please do the needful.

  25. weakdome says:

    I went and watched those commercials after I saw so many people complaining about them on this site. They were crappy ads, and they were definitely not worth the (2.5 mil?) that they cost for the slot, but they were just barely borderline offensive.
    I was a little more horrified that the black guy got sucked into the jet engine on the “beer that makes you fly” commercial.

  26. sleze69 says:

    As soon as I saw the Ad, I knew that someone would overreact to it the same way they overreacted to the accent of the peddler at the beginning of Disney’s Alladin.

    Waaaa!

  27. Murph1908 says:

    There are 2 things wrong with this issue:

    One, that people are so easily offended by stuff like this.

    Two, this guy thinks he’s fooling anyone with, “I didn’t know it would be offensive.”

    He knew, and it is generating the desired after-commercial buzz that everyone wanted.

    And regarding animals with accents, I seam to recall a Scottish Terrier in Lady and the Tramp who wore a kilt and talked with a thick accent, two Siamese cats with accents, and Spike accusing Droopy of hitting him with a shillelagh in a thick Irish accent.

    Times have changed. People shout RACISM very quickly now.

  28. Imaginary_Friend says:

    I’m offended that the ads were so painfully stupid. Where’s my apology, Mr. Gupta? I think I lost brain cells watching that crap.

  29. ChChChacos says:

    I saw these commercials and I thought the other ones I saw were a little more offensive. [www.youtube.com] This salesgenie ad showed an indian man and talking about his large family. I thought his voice/family size were a bit stereotypical and when I was watching the superbowl ads with my friends they joked about someone probably creating a lawsuit over them. Oh well.

  30. StinkyCat says:

    salesgenie.com sell like hot curry

  31. gundark says:

    Why the outrage? If you don’t like it, don’t use the product, voting with your wallet makes you appear much more mature then some morally outraged cry-baby.

  32. @Its The Beer Talking: @Tracy Ham and Eggs as played by Walter Mondale: I agree with you, Ham. It’s funny how the “smart” panda psychic didn’t speak w/ an accent. But the “dumb” Pandas, who were eating their own merchandise, and the female panda screaming at her husband, they had the accents. Hrmmmmm.

  33. Nighthawke says:

    Marketers are so hard up for cash they are expanding their own advertising budget? Old news to me. Consider that the focus market is so flooded with companies holding tens, if not hundreds of thousands of addresses in their lists, it’s a small wonder why we don’t get nailed with more junk mail than we are now.

    Opt out of their mail lists by sending your contact info to help@salesgenie.com.
    Half your week’s wages says that the mail box will be full.

  34. Amy Alkon says:

    If I call you a panda, is that some sort of slur? Can somebody please explain why a panda with an accent (French, Italian, Chinese, whatever) is offensive?

  35. G0lluM says:

    I was watching the Super Bowl and for both these ads I thought, “Someone is going to be upset about this.” Very stereo-typical. Do they not have to get the ads approved by anyone at the TV network on which they air?

  36. @shan6: Hey, I don’t think a show like that could be made now-a-days. Just think about how they censor Warner Bros. cartoons because the characters may be “too” stereo-typical. I am not a member, or a supporter of the PC police, by now means. But if you want to be taken seriously, Rev. Al, etc…., be consistent, and don’t let some things pass, and others not.

  37. nequam says:

    The GEICO gecko, with his accent, offends me to no end. :P

  38. ehrgeiz says:

    He should apologize for such awful adds, who cares about the accents those commercials were bad.

  39. @Amy Alkon: I’m not being offensive, and please no one take it that way, but if I called someone a “monkey” or “gorilla” , would that be a slur? It’s in the context of the thing. And this context was bad. You are portraying foreign accented animals/people as dumb, until that is, they get help from someone else. Remember the outrage last year when they portrayed K-Fed as a fast food worker?

  40. Szin says:

    I just thought the ads were terrible. Not offensive

  41. G0lluM says:

    @Amy Alkon: In this P.C. day and age, people have decided they have the right NOT to be offended. Which they actually don’t.

    But to answer your question, the reason I think some people would have been offended was the way in which the accent was used. It was came off sounding very “Fa-ra-ra-ra-raaaaah”

  42. AndyAgent87 says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: Totally.

    I hate that crappy flash-style animation that is beginning to pop up everywhere…like on those stupid e-surance commericials that constantly run. It looks like it should be on nickelodeon or something

  43. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Rofl- I actually told my wife (during the 8 kids one) “I can’t wait for the consumerist post about these”.

    And lo and behold, here we are. Personally, I didn’t think they were offensive, but then again, I think it’s hilarious to refer to myself as whitey. But rest assured, I take myself very seriously.

  44. Illusio26 says:

    BFD. People offended by this have too much time on their hands. Its just a commercial and a stupid one at that. I’m really tired of all the political correctness now a days. Get over it.

  45. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @G0lluM: Speaking of which, did anyone watch american idol last night?

    Gramarous, gramarous, Frossy, Frossy!

  46. nequam says:

    @AndyAgent87: Is it wrong to find the e-surance chick totally hot??

  47. DragonflyLotus says:

    @G0lluM: I’m pulling out my copy of ‘A Christmas Story’ right now.

  48. superborty says:

    The problem as mentioned earlier, is that one can only poke fun of certain groups, not others.

  49. @m4ximusprim3: Whitey, eh? Now I don’t trust you.

  50. gorckat says:

    I think I saw something about them before the Super Bowl saying their commercial last year was horrible, yet made them loads of money.

    I’m sure they banked on some people being offended, but their target audience (young schmucky guys in direct sales) aren’t likely to be among them.

    Sorry if I offended any young, oriental, direct sales guys. (You’re still schmucky!)

  51. ironchef says:

    you think companies would grow up. These racial caricatures are pathetic. It wasn’t just the panda with a crappy chinese accent. I was more offended about the poor Indian guy on the first commercial.

    It was obvious they were trying for a cheap laugh by making the accents so awful.

    Seriously…It offensive. For everyone crying out PC this PC that…SCREW YOU, pal.

  52. G0lluM says:

    @m4ximusprim3: There’s an mature-rated cartoon called Squidbillies that’s about an inbred family of redneck squids that live in the North Georgia mountains. (I know, don’t ask.) The funniest thing about it to me is that the squids hate white people and refer to them as Chalkys.

    Which I can’t help but find hilarious.

  53. nequam says:

    What about a commercial featuring an Asian person with a British accent and a white person with a Chinese accent. Are we offended? What about a Japanese person with a Chinese accent? How’s your mind, blown?

  54. forever_knight says:

    @nequam: i think that’s their idea.

  55. KashmirKong says:

    I saw nothing wrong with those commercials.

    People from India usually have large families. Mr. Gupta’s from India, so I’m sure he’d know this better than I. Heck, Apu from the Simpsons has 8 kids, and I don’t see anyone’s outrage there.

    The pandas in the other commercial were Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling. The characters were modeled after the 2 Pandas the Chinese government sent to Nixon and were put in the Washington zoo.

    I’m always surprised at how easily offended people are. Lighten up.

  56. forever_knight says:

    i saw this ad with someone from china. he was obviously upset, but i wasn’t in the mood to get into why he shouldn’t be upset. oh the PC police. you are alway on the ball!

  57. Pithlit says:

    When stuff like this happens I see more crying and whining about how everything is soooo PC than I do people actually being offended. Wahhhh, no one has the right to not be offended! Waaahhhhh, what about the good old days? *sniffle* Why is everyone so sensitive?! *sniffle*

  58. El_Guapo says:

    This guy ain’t sorry in the least. There’s no such thing as bad publicity when you’re trying to get your name out there. Besides, you can always change your company’s name, and eventually everyone forgets about it.

  59. meeroom says:

    Pretty soon we’ll all just have to be bland and dull so as to make sure we don’t offend anyone.

  60. urban_ninjya says:

    I think we chinese are offended because the Panda was potrayed as a lazy idiot. Chinese people are bright people dammmit.

    Now if the Panda was a high rolling multibillionair that’s well endowed. Then no one would be offended.

  61. theblackdog says:

    I didn’t even consider the racism, I just thought the ads were bad, period.

  62. clevershark says:

    @kashmirkong: “Heck, Apu from the Simpsons has 8 kids, and I don’t see anyone’s outrage there.”

    If you followed The Simpsons you’d know that the reason Apu has 8 kids is that other characters put fertility drugs in his wife’s food :)

  63. ekthesy says:

    @theblackdog:

    Well, when you overpay for the slot, and you’re running a fly-by-night operation like SalesGenie, you necessarily skimp on the production.

    I agree with El_Guapo; this is a classic case of “no such thing as bad publicity.” The commercials could easily have been done with American voiceovers, but there would have been absolutely zero buzz. Throwing in comically stereotypical accents provided the buzz–he got a writeup in the New York Times! That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!

    I’d like to pose the question: do you think that he was savvy in choosing Asian stereotypes, knowing that the outcry would be less damaging than, say, if it was Jewish/African-American/Hispanic? For some reason it seems that mocking Asians is received with less clamor. See Al D’Amato (“Rance Ito!”) didn’t receive nearly the bashing that Don Imus did.

  64. Starfury says:

    I didn’t find these commercials offensive, I just found them to be stupid.

    Someone has money to burn…or venture capital.

  65. ironchef says:

    @Pithlit:

    Up yours dude. It’s pretty offensive.
    And your immaturity is quite telling.

  66. Shadowman615 says:

    Since when are accents offensive?

  67. Shadowman615 says:

    @ironchef: You seem to have completely missed Pithlit’s point.

  68. iMike says:

    Gupta is a douchebag, self-dealer and lousy manager.

  69. noquarter says:

    @Pithlit: The issue is not whether people have a right not to be offended. The issue is that television has a responsibility to present content that is in the public interest.

    Offensive content, be it offensively racist or offensively stupid, should not be aired. In my opinion, racial stereotypes are always offensively stupid.

  70. selectman says:

    I know it’s fashionable to bemoan political correctness run rampant, but there is certainly justification to being sensitive to things like this. It’s just a matter of where you draw the line.

    Of course it’s sensible that a Scottish Terrier would have a Scottish accent. However, it’s disingenuous to compare that to a negatively stereotypical characterization of an entire race, e.g. an African American portrayed in a minstrel show-esque manner. The problem here is that the commercial was closer to the latter example than the former.

  71. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Yep, smart pandas speak Midwestern-accented English.

    @Pithlit: Yeah, I love the people who whine about the PC Police too. And you know the people who are offended are mostly laying low because they don’t want to be lectured by a bunch of self-righteous twits about how they just need to get over that whole racism thing.

  72. G0lluM says:

    @noquarter: BROADCAST television using the public airwaves has the responsibility you assert. This would, of course, include the coverage of the Super Bowl and the ads displayed during its broadcast.

    But for non-broadcast cable or TV-over-Internet stuff? That’s a different matter, wouldn’t you agree?

    And who determines what content is “offensive?”

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m just trying to illustrate the point about why these issues are always difficult.

  73. clevershark says:

    I wonder if there are any other ads that SalesGenie decided NOT to run because someone from outside had a look at them and responded by asking “are you f*&#ing kidding?”…

  74. zsouthboy says:

    @nequam:

    RE: Esurance chick:

    Rule 34 of the internets applies.

    Seriously, take a look…

  75. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Is it me, or did the boss in the “Ramesh, if you don’t blah blah blah YOU’RE OUTTA HERE” sound just a WEE bit like Spaceley Sprockets saying

    “Jetson, if you don’t blah blah blah, YOU’RE FIRED!”

    Just me, eh?

  76. Flynn says:

    A few things.
    First, when you advertise on the public airwaves, then you open yourself up to any amount of bitching. It’s not like someone eavesdropped on Mr. Gupta in his living room.
    Second, if he has the freedom to spew crap to try and make a buck, then everyone here has EVERY right to complain about it.
    Third, none of this “PC police” crap. It’s a straw man. There’s a difference between expressing an opinion and “policing” something. Last I read, no one in this thread suggested banning the ad.
    Fourth, as a white male, I didn’t feel I knew enough to judge totally, but my first impression was that it was racist. So, I asked some Chinese American friends. The response? “Totally racist. Mickey-Rooney-in-Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s racist.” And seeing how I can’t judge Chinese accents as well as they can, I believe them.

  77. Illusio26 says:

    @noquarter: I find just about everything on the lifetime channel offensive. I guess that means we shouldn’t air that stuff either.

    I don’t think we should censure everything just “in case” it might offend someone. People need to get a little thicker skin.

  78. aparsons says:

    A few months ago I wrote a program to scrape salesgenie.com. I don’t feel so bad writing that app now…

  79. noquarter says:

    @darkjedi26: You seem to have missed the point.

  80. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @Flynn: So a good chinese accent isn’t racist, but a poorly done one is?

    I’m not saying you’re wrong (cause im white and not educated in chinese as well), but just trying to parse the comment.

  81. rdldr1 says:

    Im an Asian-American. I dont get offended easily. However, I was slightly offended by the Salesgenie.com commercial. Im not offended to the point that Im going to raise hell.

    If this commercial portrayed animals in the “black stereotype,” all hell would be raised. American culture is more forgiving over stereotyping Asians, like in Family Guy. From what Ive seen, Seth McFarlane must dislike Asians. Love Family Guy though!

  82. VeritasNoir says:

    I noted the same racism in the commercial when I saw it during the super bowl. Giving the animals accents does not make me cringe. Giving the two dumb pandas thick accents and giving the smart “sales” panda a more standard dialect comes off as pretty offensive.

  83. Mk1972 says:

    @iMike: oh I see you’ve dealt with him too
    @ekthesy: InfoUsa is not fly by night at all they have 3,000 employees and did close to $500 mil in sales in 2006..

  84. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @VeritasNoir: Understood, but how is that different from a commercial with two dumb crocodiles with backwoods arkansas accents and a smart sales crocodile with a neutral “newscaster” accent. I wouldn’t find that at all insulting. Some humans are smarter than others and it’s good advertising to show the smart one using your product.

    Now, if there were two stupid chinese pandas and a smart japanese man somehow taking advantage of them, I’d be offended, because you’re portraying one race as superior. Thats all I’m saying.

  85. ExtraCelestial says:

    Um his last name is Gupta? Really? Well that changes things… I think.

  86. ClayS says:

    If you’re spending that kind of money for Superbowl ads, you would think they would be fairly certain of the market’s reaction. Maybe run it by a focus group ahead of time?

  87. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    It doesn’t help any that the commercial just plain sucks. I usually don’t succumb to the “PC” thing, but that was pretty tacky IMHO.

  88. cothebadger says:

    I thought this right away. I was surprised when the people I with didn’t roll their eyes but rather said how many awful animated ads there are. Ugh.

  89. dalejo says:

    It was a stupid ad but people were offended? Geez! So many PC douche bags out there. Why do people try to get offended by these things?

  90. GOKOR says:

    If all my sales calls and customer service experience weren’t with someone from India that is impossible to understand I would be offended. So honestly, I can relate with having an Indian sales person in this commercial.

    @rdldr1: You mean like the black weatherman on Family Guy?

  91. miles85 says:

    This is a great example of why it’s important for companies to preview these sorts of ads to a focus group in order to get a better idea of what the potential responses will be. While it might have seemed like a good idea at the time to one or two people within the company, clearly these commercials didn’t end up being as well liked as the company initially thought they would be. It’s surprising, given the cost to air these ads, that this wasn’t thought through a little bit more thoroughly.

  92. coold8 says:

    This entire things seems blown out of hand. I watched the commercial, and found it only natural for a CHINESE PANDA to speak witha CHINESE ACCENT. It is like having a jackie chan movie, where he speaks with the voices switched (lets say Chris rock’s voice is Jackie Chan, and vice versa), it would just look weird and not be the same.

  93. Shadowmist says:

    As a Chinese person (though I have no accent, having grown up in America), I can safely say no one I know has that kind of accent. My parents have accents, but nothing like the commercial. To me it’s more of an accent that other people made up. I’m sure there are some people that speak like that, but those are few and far between and I’ve never met one before. Unless you count that American guy who spoke that way as a form of satyr.

    The problem I have with the commercial (I don’t really mind, but whatever) is that it felt like it was portraying the characters as stupid. It was an extremely crude commercial that lacked social grace and basic etiquette. Frankly, I’m surprised that it was even allowed to air. If I owned the network that aired commercials, I wouldn’t want something like that fouling up my shows.

  94. rjhiggins says:

    This wasn’t just an innocuous Chinese accent; it was the offensive, stereotypical Charlie Chan accent that rightfully disappeared from our landscape years ago. Nobody actually speaks like that. It would be akin to using a shufflin’ black man saying “Sho ’nuff, ma’am,” with his head hung low.

    The objections are anything but politically correct. I was shocked when I saw the ad during the game.

  95. Michael Belisle says:

    @TinkishDelight: This quote also changes things:

    “People have been making fun of my accent for years,” said Mr. Gupta, who described himself in the interview as half-Indian and half-Jewish. “And I love it.”

    I think the issue here has something to do with “to assimilate or not to assimilate”. Gupta seems to have the position that you can be proud of what some assimilated immigrants might call a FOB accent.

    Categorizing accents in the “Is it offensive to imitate?” and “If you have <insert accent here> in America, should you lose it or enhance it?” matrices gets ridiculously complicated really fast. Try this yourself, I gave up after 10 accents or so.

  96. mandarin says:

    Well I hope he doesnt get offended when I write my cartoons about taxi drivers with Indian accents…

  97. mikelotus says:

    you white americans are so stupid. that is why we chinese are going to bury you and you will all work for us some day. you watch your porn, watch your tv, don’t save money, make more lawyers than engineers and drive around in big cars all day with stupid children that can’t find most countries on a map or speak a second language. you fight in iraq while we drill oil in sudan. you are so stupid and now that we can buy your country because your money is worthless, you will soon be the slaves to us which is what you lazy people deserve.

  98. Really? This is a pretty pressing issue? This is something that the New York Times is using print space for?

    You’re not children. If you didn’t like his commercial, dont buy whatever it is he is selling and stop crying about it in the pages of the New York Times.

  99. Michael Belisle says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: I don’t think so. Let’s do a Google search comparison:

    german accent racist -salesgenie

    versus

    chinese accent racist -salesgenie

    Is that proof that Germans are not offended? No. But I don’t think anyone would have complained, even if David Hasselhoff was in it.

    Another game to play is “What’s most offensive about Saturday Night Live’s Japanese Game Show?” Chris Farley’s racist impersonation of a boisterous American tourist is totally offensive to me.

  100. ChrisGriswold says:

    I didn’t find these offensive. I was kind of pleased to see an Indian character in the first commercial, and Chinese characters in the second. The only thing that might be seen as offensive is the number of the Indian man’s children. Were they just not acting WASPy enough? Were people who are not white offended by these?

  101. Michael Belisle says:

    Actually that Chinese search was fruitful. Russell Peters makes an amusing point.

  102. ninjatales says:

    @Coven: Having an Aussie accent certainly isn’t a bad thing. Works better with women than a stereotypical Chinese accent. Unless of course you live in a cave and have never heard of “funny” accents.

    Think of it this way – Not all accents are treated equally in society.

  103. ThinkerTDM says:

    I think the offensive part reflects the fact that for years, chinese people were portrayed as having round faces, buck teeth, short black hair, 2 inch thick glasses, and were dumber than bricks. And white people aren’t the ones who were offended.
    I personally am offended when media portrays americans as snobby rich white people.

  104. Pithlit says:

    @noquarter: I think you misunderstood me. I was making fun of the type of people who say things like “No one has the right not to be offended.” Definitely not agreeing with them.

  105. dalejo says:

    @rjhiggins: I’d say you were wrong. There are a bunch of chinese fast food places in Silicon Valley (maybe further) called Mr. Chau’s. The commercial has an animated dude who looks and sounds more stereotyped than those pandas. Of course, some thin skinned asian group got their panties in a bunch and complained. Turns out it was the owner’s natural voice and he liked the commercials. So don’t be too sure about yourself and your overly PC views.

  106. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @mikelotus: For a member of a superior race, you certainly don’t write very well. Try capitalizing words now and then.

    @Shadowmist: Well said.

  107. witeowl says:

    Somebody help me, please. On this NY times page, four videos are available. Two from Salesgenie.com, one from Bud, and one from Taco Bell.

    Why are only the first three labeled as using stereotypes? Other than the admittedly ignorant slur with the “seven kids” line, the four videos are, to me, pretty much equal.

    What am I missing? Or, am I missing anything?

  108. witeowl says:

    @witeowl: Obviously, more than four videos are available, but you should be able to figure out which four I’m talking about.

  109. Michael Belisle says:

    @witeowl: Well, mariachi bands are a Mexican tradition. I’m pretty sure it’s not implying that all mexicans are mariachis. I’m not sure which stereotypes you’re referring to in the Taco Bell ad.

    Stereotypes (and if they’re offensive or not) is a personal choice. Maybe Ramesh has seven kids. I don’t see why it hasto imply anything about Indians as a whole, or what makes it a slur.

  110. dalejo says:

    @rdldr1: Do you have any problem when they show the stereotype “white trash”? Bet you don’t.

  111. witeowl says:

    @belisle: OK, so do you find any of the four as having offensive stereotypes? The Panda commercial doesn’t imply that all Chinese people sell furniture, are stupid, or are panda bears. The immigrant Bud commercial doesn’t imply that all immigrants practice Santeria.

    Why are people offended at the first three, but not the fourth? I just don’t understand what (aside from the one item I’ve already mentioned) makes all but the last offensive.

    I’m honestly stumped, by the way; I’m not being argumentative. What is the difference? I just don’t see one.

  112. witeowl says:

    @Shadowmist: And yet, you’d probably also be bothered if they showed characters with Chinese accents as having superior intelligence. (Indisputably a very common, and arguably equally damaging, stereotype.)

    The fact is that there are smart Asians and dumb Asians, and everything in between. This statement applies to every ethnicity/nationality from German to Phillipino to African. Why is it that dumb characters are only allowed to have “white American” accents?

  113. camille_javal says:

    @Shadowmist: @rjhiggins: My jaw dropped open at this commercial for the reason you mentioned – chinese accents on chinese pandas is fine, but accents that sound just short of “me put pee-pee in your coke” – for fuck’s sake

  114. exkon says:

    Hell I’m of Asian decent and didn’t find the commercial offensive at all

    My white friend on the other hand thought it was highly offensive to asian people…what a world!

  115. Michael Belisle says:

    @witeowl: Personally, I’m not offended by any of the stereotypes. And I’ve never been offended by jokes that mock any of my cultures.

    But I have no heritage in any of the cultures in question, so I defer to them: I count 3 people who claim Chinese descent in the present discussion of over 100 comments. Of them, two were offended by the way the pandas were portrayed and one said China will make white Americans their slaves.

    (Also note that they’re pandas who came from a zoo. Pandas eat bamboo. And they probably can’t spell “sofas” properly. I wish somebody could ask Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing what they think, but they’re dead.)

    @El_Guapo: You’re right that he’s not sorry. I believe his reason:

    Gupta said he wanted to repeat the “worst ad” ranking he received in 2007 for a commercial that was panned by industry watchers as “low-rent” and possibly the product of a college marketing-class project. He fell short on that goal…. The worst he could do was 50th best on USA Today’s Ad Meter ranking of the 55 commercials. [www.tradingmarkets.com]

  116. crankymediaguy says:

    Still, “if I offended anybody,” Mr. Gupta said, “believe me, I apologize.”

    Then he hopped on his flying carpet, folded his arms in front of his chest (after adjusting his turban) and sped off into the clouds.

  117. mammalpants says:

    if i was president, i would declare that “all things living must not have accents.”

    i bet THAT would make everyone happy!

  118. @belisle: I was speaking of a german shepard with a thick accent bossing people around a la WWII Germans(or the movie portrayal of them). With the yelling and the raising of the voice at the end of sentence. While it might not get the Germans pissed off, I am sure that a certain segment of the Jewish population would be highly offended.

    As for the Chris Farley skit, how many years ago was that done? It didn’t seem like he was doing an impression, as it was pretty much his character in almost EVERY sketch he does. But as to the dating, many years ago, it was OK to portray a dumb black nappy headed character in overalls with big lips talking jive in children’s cartoons. Let’s see Spongebob swing that nowadays. Hell, lets see a tv/radio host say the previous sentence, and not get fired/fined.

  119. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Its The Beer Talking: I’m also offended that the GEICO gecko has a british accent when he is clearly a day gecko from some tropical local, most likely with spanish speakers or an african dialect of some sort.

  120. timsgm1418 says:

    I would find that hilarious. someone should have a commercial with a german shepard speaking with a german accent@Git Em SteveDave:

  121. timsgm1418 says:

    AMEN, comeon this isn’t Mr Rogers neighborhood. Show your disapproval with your wallet. I’m offended by that horrible music they put on the new Hershey candy bites, I really hate it, so I don’t buy the product. There are quite a few commercials that I hate, so I don’t buy their product. Probably just a local commercial but the Eastern Auto (your job IS your credit) is particularly stereotypical. It mostly shows black men with huge amounts of gold jewelry hanging from their necks, yet the commercial has been on the air forever (well it seems that way)All this PC stuff is like nursery school…”let’s make sure we don’t hurt anybodys feelings, everybody share, and take a nap. (hey wait, I WOULD like to take a nap)@Voyou_Charmant:

  122. deVious says:

    @selectman: Well-put. It’s not the accent that’s offensive – it’s the combination of accents and setting. There’s nothing offensive about a panda with a Chinese accent (a real one, not a caricature) per se, but combined with the other elements of the commercial it definitely crossed a line.

    @rjhiggins: Exactly.

  123. enm4r says:

    I’m still waiting for Notre Dame to be forced into changing their mascot.

  124. olivia2.0 says:

    If this commercial is offensive, so are those Flo-nase commercials, with the Hispanic sounding bee? How come no one’s complaining about that? Weird.

  125. contro says:

    You guys suck so much the commercials were not racist at all, and I seriously think you guys should get your head examined what may be racist though is people thinking that it is racist.

  126. UpsetPanda says:

    @olivia2.0: Why was the bee Hispanic though? There is no specific reason why a bee should be Hispanic. But the panda commercial was offensive because of its allusions to smart Asian people and dumb Asian people, and using accents to distinguish one from the other.

  127. These commercials were not offensive at all, or maybe I am just a horrible person. I thought they were somewhat funny, not the best by far.

    People just love pulling the race card and get all offended no matter what.

    People these days are just looking to be offended. I am surprised TV still exists. How about when horrible actors fake accents on TV shows? Should we cancel those? Come on people, get a life. Calm down, go outside, enjoy the weather, and shut up.

  128. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @UpsetPanda: Because its Antonio Banderas. He is the spokes-voice and he is speaking in his natural voice maybe?

  129. UpsetPanda says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: Seriously? Antonio Banderas is the spokesvoice for the bee?

  130. Torley says:

    Often, offense for people lies not in the ethnicity of the accent, but the quality of it – such as, exaggerated and fake Chinese accents being more likely to offend than an authentic (or indistinguishable from such) one.