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    Thread: Acura apologizes after casting "not too black" actor in Super Bowl Seinfeld/NSX ad

    1. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 07:47 PM #1


      I don't have an opinion on this one way or the other, but all I can say is

      We loved the hilarious Super Bowl ad for the coming-some-day-but-not-anytime-soon Acura NSX starring Jerry Seinfeld, but we really wish it would have popped back onto our radar for a different reason than this. (Like a production announcement from Honda.) TMZ is reporting that when the commercial was cast, the ad the agency responsible had sought an African-American actor to play the car dealer who was, "Nice looking, friendly. Not too dark." And the website has a copy of the document to prove it.

      To paraphrase one of Seinfeld's catch phrases: "Yes, there's everything wrong with that."

      While we'd like to think that some day the obvious interpretation might be that the casting director was referring to the actor's mood, clearly that's not the case here. TMZ says an unnamed source associated with the commercial told it that "not too dark" had something to do with lighting and special effects, and we hope that's true. Still, the way the brief description reads, it certainly sounds like whomever was casting the spot thinks dark-skinned people are neither nice nor friendly.

      We're not about to throw Honda under the bus – it was, after all, an outside ad agency named RP& that shot the ad, according to Motoramic – as the automaker apologized, issuing the following statement:

      We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials.

      We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor.

      The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand.


      While we're glad to see Honda react promptly and properly, re-watching the commercial gave us further pause: If Honda indeed sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role, did it consider an African-American for the part of the guy who's first on the list for the NSX, as opposed to the salesperson?
      http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/18/a...r-in-super-bo/

      Last edited by Mazda 3s; 04-18-2012 at 07:51 PM.
      "Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

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    2. 04-18-2012 07:57 PM #2
      I don't understand the difference between this and putting something on the casting sheet that says really good looking girl. People are born into their looks whether it's skin color or beauty or whatever. What moron turned this into a story?

    3. Member Volvo_D's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 07:58 PM #3
      how many posts before locked thread?
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      04-18-2012 07:59 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Chileno View Post
      What moron turned this into a story?
      I was wondering the same thing.

      BTW, couldn't anybody play this role?

    5. Swallow Doretti
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      04-18-2012 08:00 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Chileno View Post
      I don't understand the difference between this and putting something on the casting sheet that says really good looking girl. People are born into their looks whether it's skin color or beauty or whatever. What moron turned this into a story?
      Because that's just not how casting is done. No one would EVER put on a call sheet "really good looking girl." They'd put on, "Young, energetic female, blonde."

      And yes, casting an African-American actor based on skin color is offensive.

    6. 04-18-2012 08:08 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Swallow Doretti View Post
      Because that's just not how casting is done. No one would EVER put on a call sheet "really good looking girl." They'd put on, "Young, energetic female, blonde."

      And yes, casting an African-American actor based on skin color is offensive.
      So you're saying you're the one who broke this story? Nice.

      You know the people making the final decision on actors factor in their looks. Is it not offensive because it's not written on a piece of paper for people to see? This must be that pussification thing.

    7. 04-18-2012 08:12 PM #7
      Really?.....Just when I think we can't be worried about stupider Sh*T somthing like this comes out.

      did it effect me? no.

      Move along

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      04-18-2012 08:16 PM #8
      I'll start by saying that this is a ****ty practice that happens in the casting field.

      But, I do not think this is somehow not the norm. I've seen casting calls with very similar language (and often language that's even more offensive.)
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      04-18-2012 08:16 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Swallow Doretti View Post
      Because that's just not how casting is done. No one would EVER put on a call sheet "really good looking girl." They'd put on, "Young, energetic female, blonde."

      And yes, casting an African-American actor based on skin color is offensive.
      oreo???
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    10. Member xtravbx's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 08:22 PM #10
      How is this seriously a big deal?

      People come in all sorts of shades of colors. They chose what shade they wanted. Get over it.

    11. 04-18-2012 08:27 PM #11
      I don't see what's the big deal here. I used to work at a high end fashion company and models are casted almost exclusively on their looks. This is no different than asking for a tall slender Asian, a 5'10" brunette or whatever.

    12. 04-18-2012 08:40 PM #12
      No different than wanting to cast a fair-skinned girl rather than a tanned one. They just want the characters to relate to as many people as possible. Albinos and super dark dudes would be too specific for casting a car commercial meant for mass consumption.
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      04-18-2012 08:48 PM #13
      I wonder if subaru has casting sheets for:

      "Bear like men" rather than "twinks" for a commercial??

      That or maybe:

      "lipstick lesbians" as a preferance over "masculine lesbians"

      it's a descriptive title....but heaven forbid we actually bring up "race" and well, it's on!

      too many read too much into things they are NOT.
      Larry

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    14. Junior Member Hez10's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 08:52 PM #14
      Political correctness blah blah blah, makes me want to puke.

    15. 04-18-2012 08:56 PM #15
      So they wanted a black guy as opposed to a blick guy.

    16. Senior Member A.Wilder's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 08:57 PM #16
      Did the casting call for Jerry say something like "Looking for Jew, but not too Jewy"?
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    17. 04-18-2012 08:58 PM #17
      Well I know I wouldn't buy a car from Idi Amin.

    18. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 08:58 PM #18
      So everyone would be cool if I made a thread in the OT asking for actors for a little film I'm putting together?

      I'll need:

      1) White washed black guy no thug clothing or slang at all must be totally white acting.

      2) Really obese ugly chick with red hair and thriple chin who can't walk up 6 steps without needing a cookie break. Will verify your inability to climb stairs and will do a poll with all me set crew to make sure ugly is established.

      3) Moron who believes in things like gods and religion. Big plus if a stupid fool who votes for anyone other than a democrat.

      4) Toolbag who thinks his rusty VW with slammed air ride status looks good.

      PM me if you fit any of the above.
      Sent from my tablet while sipping weak drinks over fancy brunch with a view

    19. Member TheDarkEnergist's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 08:59 PM #19
      Ad agencies are full of a**holes. Ask Hawk.
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    20. 04-18-2012 09:00 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkEnergist View Post
      Ad agencies are full of a**holes. Look at Hawk.
      FTFY.

    21. Member TheDarkEnergist's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:00 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by WhistlerYOW View Post
      FTFY.

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      04-18-2012 09:02 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by flat6guy View Post
      No different than wanting to cast a fair-skinned girl rather than a tanned one. They just want the characters to relate to as many people as possible. Albinos and super dark dudes would be too specific for casting a car commercial meant for mass consumption.

    23. 04-18-2012 09:03 PM #23
      Commercial would have been better if they used David Puddy.

      Really, I don't get why asking specifically for a black guy isn't offensive, but it is offensive to get specific about how black they want?

    24. Member romanl's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:07 PM #24
      quick,,,, dealer wanted to show me a dark grey car on the lot, but i only wanted black car,,, i must be a racist
      ..
      so i will now write to newspaper apologizing to all the grey cars out there for not giving them a chance


    25. 04-18-2012 09:17 PM #25
      I don't see anything wrong with specifying the looks of the person you want in the commercial...

      Acura would get in trouble if they didn't cast black people.. that's a fact. I think the maker of the bachelor is getting sued right now for not having enough black contestants - heard about this story on the way home today on the news. So asking for a black person should be fair game if you are going to get sued for not doing so.

      I can imagine though, that the offense comes at the phrase "Not too dark." Which I can't tell whether this is a shame or not.... On one hand people can only get bent out shape about the darkness of their skin if they are sensitive to the darkness of their skin. I am white.. and I don't have a problem with them specifying they want someone not white. To be kind of honest.. The difference between specifying "not white" by saying "not too dark" is the exact same as saying "not dark." So I don't understand how dark skinned black people can honestly be any more offended than any white person that was being excluded.

      On the other hand... this is akin to a two stage form of racism which is then extra racist to dark skinned black people.

      But if you are going to allow them to say "not white" to begin with and specify skin color to begin with.. then honestly I do have to say it is kind ironic when people start complaining that the actual tone shouldn't be allowed to be discussed... I mean.. you get in trouble for not casting black people... but then you get in trouble for asking for a specific color. It's like saying minorities should be included but then getting upset that they specifically asked for asians or mexicans.

      I don't mean to sound like a racist.. I'm sensitive to the subject having grown up in the south and I understand it.. but I want to devil's advocate this a little and point out the hypocrisy of the situation.

      thumbs down for two stage racism though.
      Last edited by x1000rpms; 04-18-2012 at 09:24 PM.

    26. Member SMG's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:21 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      So everyone would be cool if I made a thread in the OT asking for actors for a little film I'm putting together?

      I'll need:

      1) White washed black guy no thug clothing or slang at all must be totally white acting.

      2) Really obese ugly chick with red hair and thriple chin who can't walk up 6 steps without needing a cookie break. Will verify your inability to climb stairs and will do a poll with all me set crew to make sure ugly is established.

      3) Moron who believes in things like gods and religion. Big plus if a stupid fool who votes for anyone other than a democrat.

      4) Toolbag who thinks his rusty VW with slammed air ride status looks good.

      PM me if you fit any of the above.
      What, are you hosting the next Car Lounge GTG?

    27. Senior Member JustinCSVT's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:27 PM #27
      Ahhh, touchy subject. I will say that if you're black, this has a little bit different meaning than for other people. Like a lot of other ethnicities around the world, there's a lot of discrimination and such based on the shade of your skin and it's usually directed towards the darker skinned people.

      Looking at it from the outside, it doesn't seem that serious but it means something.

    28. Member Woodski's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:28 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by x1000rpms View Post
      I don't see anything wrong with specifying the looks of the person you want in the commercial...

      Acura would get in trouble if they didn't cast black people.. that's a fact. I think the maker of the bachelor is getting sued right now for not having enough black contestants - heard about this story on the way home today on the news. So asking for a black person should be fair game if you are going to get sued for not doing so.

      I can imagine though, that the offense comes at the phrase "Not too dark." Which I can't tell whether this is a shame or not.... On one hand people can only get bent out shape about the darkness of their skin if they are sensitive to the darkness of their skin. I am white.. and I don't have a problem with them specifying they want someone not white. To be kind of honest.. The difference between specifying "not white" by saying "not too dark" is the exact same as saying "not dark." So I don't understand how dark skinned black people can honestly be any more offended than any white person that was being excluded.

      On the other hand... this is akin to a two stage form of racism which is then extra racist to dark skinned black people.

      But if you are going to allow them to say "not white" to begin with and specify skin color to begin with.. then honestly I do have to say it is kind ironic when people start complaining that the actual tone shouldn't be allowed to be discussed... I mean.. you get in trouble for not casting black people... but then you get in trouble for asking for a specific color. It's like saying minorities should be included but then getting upset that they specifically asked for asians or mexicans.

      I don't mean to sound like a racist.. I'm sensitive to the subject having grown up in the south and I understand it.. but I want to devil's advocate this a little and point out the hypocrisy of the situation.

      thumbs down for two stage racism though.
      What if the person being the "bachelor" wasn't attracted to black people though? That woul;d be kinda unfair to the contestant, no?

    29. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:30 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Woodski View Post
      What if the person being the "bachelor" wasn't attracted to black people though? That woul;d be kinda unfair to the contestant, no?
      Well, the whole show is bulls**t anyway, so what's the difference?
      "Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

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    30. Member stascom's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 09:37 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Chileno View Post
      I don't understand the difference between this and putting something on the casting sheet that says really good looking girl. People are born into their looks whether it's skin color or beauty or whatever. What moron turned this into a story?
      /thread

    31. 04-18-2012 09:54 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      So everyone would be cool if I made a thread in the OT asking for actors for a little film I'm putting together?

      I'll need:

      1) White washed black guy no thug clothing or slang at all must be totally white acting.

      2) Really obese ugly chick with red hair and thriple chin who can't walk up 6 steps without needing a cookie break. Will verify your inability to climb stairs and will do a poll with all me set crew to make sure ugly is established.

      3) Moron who believes in things like gods and religion. Big plus if a stupid fool who votes for anyone other than a democrat.

      4) Toolbag who thinks his rusty VW with slammed air ride status looks good.

      PM me if you fit any of the above.
      You may have just invented the best TV show in history. Jersey Shore would have nothing on this

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      That door handle is horrible. I wish they would've used a flap-style integrated into the crease.
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    32. Member rains's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 10:03 PM #32
      How is this even a story?

      They were looking for someone with a certain skin tone, so they asked for it. Does this not happen often for casting, or even modelling? It's not like the car dealer had a lot of lines, so it makes sense to have the casting based more on appearance.

      The thing is, if they had asked for a "medium-white" or "not TOO white" caucasian actor, would anyone have even batted an eye? Nope!

      [I]t certainly sounds like whomever was casting the spot thinks dark-skinned people are neither nice nor friendly.
      Or they don't understand that "Nice looking, friendly," and "Not too dark," are two seperate sentences, both specifying seperate things to look for. To read a correlation into that is pretty ridiculous.

      I understand racial sensitivity, but this article is plain stupid

      This is coming from a medium-white guy, who lives with an ultra-white guy, and a pretty dark black guy. (I am describing skin tones. Butthurt?)
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    33. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 10:06 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by flat6guy View Post
      That is amazing!
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      04-18-2012 10:07 PM #34
      Fighting urge to get involved with this thread.....

      Too weak to resist...

      Here's an interesting piece from Wikipedia, highlighting skin-toned based biases from cultures around the globe. In most cases darker-skinned people are perceived to be less intelligent, less trustworthy, and most likely to commit crimes.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrim..._on_skin_color

      There have actually been legal cases where people of the same ethnicity, but with varying shades of skin tone, were convicted of the same crime but the darker skinned person receives a harsher sentence.
      Last edited by whitejeep1989; 04-18-2012 at 10:21 PM.

    35. Member Giovanni's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 10:07 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by WhistlerYOW View Post
      Well I know I wouldn't buy a car from Idi Amin.
      me either, that actor was black enough



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