Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Diversity is great, unless it's used to make money

The latest AtheismPlus crisis!

http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3816
 
Title: Appropriating diversity/representation for commercials
Eowyn Entwife writes, 
 
The Representation matters thread reminded me of one ugly side effect of the growing awareness of diversity, intersectionalism etc.
Representation, too, can be appropriated, and I have no words for how I feel about it, because it is just so incredibly wrong. I feel like gagging or retching when trying to wrap my head around e.g. the following example.
I had no pre-information about the latest (?) Danske Bank TV/movie/video commercial, so my initial reaction when seeing it for the first time was a tearing-up "OMFSM, a major commercial where we (me and so many of the people who are important to me) actually exists -- at least a little...". The "a little" came from that I immediately also noticed e.g. that the (very few) brown people (no blacks, thanks!) were either beautiful or an anonymous mass, all the women thin, the lesbian couple was white, all but one of the children were sitting nicely still in adult or technology controlled situations, the whole cultural context -- also for brown people -- was Western (except for one recognizable location), and the one disabled person was a white, male super-athlete (inspiration porn anyone?). When the logo for Danske Bank ended the commercial, I had a WTF moment: what did any of that stuff I just saw have to do with DB?
The YouTube feedback from Anonymous is way too mild, IMO, but at least it is out there.
The DB video does not have any description on YouTube, other than the slogan - the video has no voiceover, it is wordless music with clip after clip of moving pictures, and I haven't found a decent description yet -- please post one if you find one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-pZj_cPBvw
The Anonymous video is short and has a full transcript on its YouTube page (much needed, because the voiceover is fairly low-standard computer-generated): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL7ulNGWsq4
 
Edit: added some detail

The "representation matters" thread happened to be sourced from an observation that drawing pens the opposite way includes left-handed people.

Next up: Kellogg's uses depiction of empowered Atheism+ social justice activist to sell All-Bran. Several heads explode in rage.

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