Saturday, July 08, 2006

Racism...or Art?

So Sony is running these ads for their new "white" PSP (the system is currently only available in black).
These are just a sample of about a hundred pictures that Sony took.
Many people are screaming to high heaven that these ads are blatantly racist, but I'm honestly not so sure. Yes it does feature a white woman and a black woman throwing down, but as I said before there are about 100 pictures of various poses where black is dominant or white is dominant or they are just posing.
Some feel that "The two images comprising the ad are intended to sway sympathies to the 'white' by in some way vilifying the black. There is clearly tension in the imagery that's built upon racial tension. There's an overall feeling of 'white'superiority that stems from the fact that the white model has a sort of rock star, supermodel look while the black model has a more proletarian appearance."(BroBuzz.)
On the other hand, some see it the other way where white is actually vilified because of the way she is treating black, and the fact that black is not shown in the same "rock star" fashion. She is in fact the poor or middle America rising to show the upper class all their evils (I'm not making this stuff up).
Now, these ads were only run in Holland, but people across the world saw these ads online and the debate erupted.

Sony became worried that they would be hit with lawsuits and changed the ads to the one on the right which features only the one model put into two colors. (Which is worse, isn't it? I mean they got rid of the black model all together....)

But are these ads really racist? Or is it all in the interpretation? Could it be that these ads were designed to be merely avant garde and instead people have blown them out of proportion?
What if it was the other way? Look at the DS Lite. It was shown all in white in most of the ads. What if Nintendo started pimping a black DS in the same manner as Sony is doing here? Would everyone still say it was racist?
You tell me, dear readers. Have we all lost our minds? Are these ads racist or not?


Arthur Willoughby said...

I don't think they're racist, but it's a given they'll be interpreted as such. And it pisses me off that a company would use that as a marketing tool. Don't we have enough hate in the world without Madison Avenue capitalizing on it to make a buck?

Whoops, just discovered I have Sony stock in my 401K portfolio, so I'm actually for these adds 100%. Freedom of speech, that's my motto.

cat said...

I also have to say that I do not think they are racist at all, from what I have seem of them.

People are all too quick to scream racism at something like this and then ignore all the real racist acts that are happening in the world...

That is just one ladies opinion though... there is a lot more racist people out there that we may know. I did not realize it until I started dating a black man and hanging out with a lot of black people, (I am white). It is rather scary how people act/react to other races and/or things they are unfamilar with like interracial couples...

Sorry, I will get off my soap box now... this is your blog and I will just stop now...