The S^!% is hitting the fan...
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Sony plays white vs. black
Sony's not known for sowing controversy. But it has a small one brewing on its hands. The company is being taken to task for a new advertising campaign in Europe that touts the fact that the PlayStation Portable game unit now comes in white, not just black.
The imagery is certainly eye-catching and the words plain enough. But some minority leaders are speaking out. Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/Daly City) said playing different racial groups off each other for the sake of an advertisement is insensitive and potentially racist.
"I am deeply disappointed in Sony's senseless decision to publish this racially-charged advertisement," he said. "I can't begin to determine Sony's motivation but I believe this marketing strategy is unnecessary and is clearly offensive to many in our community."
Rick Callender, President of San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, said the advertisement conjured up images of minstrel shows. He said the stereotypical portrayals are inappropriate in an advertisement.
Sony insists it's just trying to highlight a new color for the PSP. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no word if or when the ads might appear in the U.S.
It is unsettling to see the almost blindingly white woman grab her black counterpart in what looks like at best, a stern warning, or at worst, the start of a serious smack down.
Who knows? Sony might be banking on a little controversy to sell some PSPs in Europe. But stateside, playing white off black might not be best idea. We'll just have to see.
"Menswear is so limited so I'm free with my ideas. Otherwise I'd die of boredom."--Miuccia Prada
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