Many Australians this morning are so outraged by having been called a nation of racists by the American media in general and The Young Turks specifically, they have begun fighting back via emails and online comments to those news sources who have misrepresented their personal views on the subject as fact. Ozzies are screaming CROCK! And not in the Paul Hogan, cuddly sort of way. Here is the ad as presented by TYT:
One of my readers has sent me a copy of her email to TYT:
From: Leesa in Australia
Dear “The Young Turks”
Rarely does something rile me so much that I take the time to write a letter.
I have just watched two of your youtube.com segments and I seriously sat here shaking my head and yelling at the screen – “NOOO – You have it all wrong!”
When you are trying to explain that the Australian KFC knew how Americans would view the stereotypical analogy of black people and fried chicken, I was still yelling NOOOO!
Please allow me to explain to you how an Australian saw this advertisement. Please do me this courtesy, (and refrain from attempting my accent because, really, you are terrible at it). Also, your attempt at mimicking the Australian accent could be considered racist as you are putting us in a stereotypical setting of assuming we all speak that way (kind of like everyone assuming that a bunch of black people can be easily settled with fried chicken).
When you say “We are not calling Australians racists” I disagree – You are. You are calling anyone who “gets” the advertisement by KFC, Australian or otherwise, racist.
You are the ones associating black people with loving fried chicken. KFC is associating a cricket game – West Indies v Australia – and the love of chicken.
I am so incredibly confused as to why this turned into the way it did and why you simply cannot state that you made a mistake in first reporting it as racist. As a true blood Australian, this is how I saw the ad….
Setting: Cricket Match Australia v’s West Indies . One Australian uncomfortable because he is sitting with a pack of West Indies supporters. He wants to be included so he gets a bucket of KFC and shares it with the people sitting near him. It’s as simple as that.
Now before you go reading anything further into “a pack of West Indies Supporters” I want to clarify that I would feel as uncomfortable at a footy game sitting with a pack of NSW supporters as I support Queensland . Here is an image of a group of NSW supporters at one of our State of Origin matches. http://www.thepunch.com.au/images/uploads/bluesfans.jpg – Imagine me sitting there in my maroon shirt supporting Queensland… it’s the “sporting” uncomfortable feeling that you apparently don’t get and what has me shaking my head in confusion and disbelief.
I am not surprised at all the email you have received. Australians are passionate people who don’t like names being thrown unwarranted.
Sometimes, you have to realise, that it is not all about America . One statement made on your segment was that KFC did not plan to have it shown in America and therefore they knew it would cause some upset. I believe that KFC would not assume this ad would be shown in America because it is about “our” cricket season. Please forgive me if this sounds racist; but a cricket ad would not have been aired in a country that doesn’t play cricket – case and point. Everything doesn’t have to include you or be about you – and by you, I mean America . . Furthermore Since when do all advertisements run in a different country have to consider the way it will make you who live in America feel? Should all our promos be run past Americans to ensure we don’t stereotype somebody?
I’m not sure if you have read this article but I have attached it for you. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/kfc-ad-a-storm-in-a-fried-chicken-bucket-20100111-m21e.html
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The above KFC ad is aimed at cricketers. At their teams, their fans and their favourite ‘in the stands’ finger food. It is not an ad about skin colour. If you knew anything about the game of cricket, you’d know it is played internationally. You’d know that it is common for the stands to be filled with an uneven representation of fans, one team’s side usually outnumbering the other as whole series of games are played in one country at a time. When Australia plays cricket with the West Indies team, for example, on West Indies home turf, most Oz fans cannot take the three weeks off work to travel overseas that it would require for them to attend the series. But they can watch the game from home – and they do buy the chicken. That’s what KFC was targetting.
To get a more accurate perspective of the ad, replace cricket with football. Now make the game between the SF 49rs and the NY Jets. Now put a lone guy from California in the stands with an entire stadium full of Jets fans. Now give the guy a bucket of chicken to share with the jets fans whose enthusiasm is overwhelming.
And that’s all it is. The act of sharing food is a universal sign of friendship. The ad could just as easily have been a West Indies fan in a stadium full of Oz blokes. Or, it could have been an ad for Tim Tams.
To TYT: Sometimes a bucket of chicken is just a bucket of chicken. Perhaps, in the future, before you appear on international television and label something as racist, you might do a small bit of research to determine if racism actually exists. Had you done even a modicum of research on Australia team sports, you would have found there is no prejudice. There is team spirit and a true love of the game, but no prejudice.
KFC did not air this ad in America. It was aired in Australia. And here, everyone laughed at the good joke.
To comment on this post, please scroll back to the title Sometimes a Bucket of Chicken is Just a Bucket of Chicken and click the word comment just beneath – Thanks. OzMud