So for the past few days in my peripheral vision I’ve been seeing this black ad online. I’m not really taking it in, as I try not to be too consumed by the beast of the media we’re constantly exposed to. Finally it gets me, it’s for Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s not for your local shop… but the chain in Thailand. It’s polished and looks slick, but it’s the same ol’ ish…
Dunkin’ Donuts was recently forced to apologize for a new ad campaign marketing their new “Charcoal Donut” in Thailand. Here’s an excerpt from the AP: “Dunkin’ Donuts has apologized for the “insensitivity” of an advertising campaign in Thailand featuring a woman in blackface makeup to promote a new chocolate flavored doughnut. The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Thailand came under criticism Friday after Human Rights Watch called the advertisements “bizarre and racist.”
The company’s chief executive in Thailand initially defended the campaign, but the U.S. headquarters quickly followed up with an apology. “We are working with our Thailand franchisee to immediately pull the ad. DD recognizes the insensitivity of this spot,” Dunkin’ Donuts said in a tweet posted on its official U.S. website after complaints erupted on Twitter, in a variety of blogs and in mainstream American media. The local franchise launched the advertisement earlier this month to promote its new “Charcoal Donut.” In posters, TV commercials and on Facebook, the campaign shows a smiling woman with blackface makeup, bright pink lipstick and a jet black 1950s-style beehive hairdo holding up a bitten black doughnut. The slogan in Thai reads: “Break every rule of deliciousness.”
Critics say the image is reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols of a racist era. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said it was shocked to see an American brand name running an advertising campaign that would draw “howls of outrage” if released in the United States.” END OF AP INSERTION
Now, I titled this blog “Bain’s At It Again”, because Bain is vested in both Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King. And? you may be saying — dost thou recall a Burger King commercial from last year that was yanked off the air featuring Mary J. Blige talkin’ bout “Crispy Chicken Wraps”? Allow me to remind you…
Actually, Bain doesn’t own Burger King anymore, nor did they when the company did the Mary J. spot, but it’s the karma of it all. When Bain Capital acquired a substantial share in Burger King in 2003 — which is the US’ Number-Two fast food chain — at a time when business was low, within three years there was a boosted record revenue of $2.05 billion, according to its 2006 annual report. The investment firm 3G Capital bought Burger King for $3.26 billion in 2010, according to Reuters. Bain Capital, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners paid a combined $2.4 billion to buy the coffee and doughnut company Dunkin’ Donuts, from the French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard, in 2006. Parody of the preceding spot that was yanked here — “Stop all that coon sh*t” – Kanye West:
The crazy thing is, is that this ish is still happening. In Thailand they’re not even as sensitive to the blatant racism of black people as we are — it’s not as steeped in their culture as it is in ours. Back in the day, like today, they adapted certain aspects of Western culture and backwards thinking advertising for products that still exist there. In particular, “Black Man” cleaning products. Now granted, a black man committed will clean something until it’s “Spic and Span”, but this is an aspect of racism for Thailand that obviously doesn’t even resonate for the vast majority, or it wouldn’t still exist.
There have been other products in Thailand that adapted “old fashioned” Western advertising and realized it needed to “evolve”, like “Darkie” toothpaste. Apparently once it became evident that advertising of this nature was no longer acceptable, there were companies in Thailand that complied, but it was a process… You can see how “Darkie” went to “Darlie” to the right.
No matter how you slice it, the “new” and now defunct Dunkin’ Donuts ad was Aunt Jemima reincarnated. The current “Black Man” products in Thailand are the “Gold Dust Twins” revisited. Part of Bain’s objective through their business practices is to degrade, take advantage of, and mis-represent black culture — can you say FOX News. It’s clear in aspects of their advertising abroad — that they thought they’d get away with — as well as in dynamics of various businesses they own state side that service the “Urban” community.
Keep Your Eyes Open, lest we be blind to the blatant offenses that have plagued us for far too long, in various cultures and amidst varying lifestyles. I was compelled to dig up some old images… Is this good or bad? It’s been my experience and via dialogue with others, that seeing the derogatory images reminds us of how things “used” to be, enabling us to nip these “modern” negative depictions in the bud when we see them — hence our “Charcoal Donut” lady in Thailand was quickly squashed. Even though that ad was on the other side of the world, someone who understands that the medium is the message, recognized the atrocity. These offenses do not go un-noticed and will not be tolerated.
The “Evolution” of Aunt Jemima:
Ironically, and by no means coincidence, “Aunt Jemima” is now owned by the new racist whore mongers that are Monsanto. Other old images that have been altered over the years, is the character “Rastas” on the box of the hot breakfast cereal, Cream of Wheat….
Black Man VS. The Gold Dust Twins:
for the need of staying aware