Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Accusations of racism over European Union 'propaganda' film showing white woman facing ethnic minority 'attackers'
According to the Daily Mail it was a campaign video of the EU designed to promote Europe in positive light and as a force for world peace. But it seems the makers of this advert, which is entitled 'Growing Together', may have misunderstood the instructions.
They are facing accusations from viewers that the clip is racist, sexist and imperialistic - and all in under two minutes.
The advert, designed to encourage new countries to join the EU, features an attractive white woman dressed in a bright yellow jumpsuit representing a peaceful Europe.
Remarkably she manages to multiply herself, all the while remaining still, before forming a circle around the men with her arms outstretched. They then put away their weapons and sit on the floor.
The advert, which has so far been viewed more than 3,700 times, ends with the message: 'The more we are, the stronger we are' as it invites more countries to join.
Many viewers have been outraged by the Hollywood inspired film, with some even questioning whether the clip is genuine. Some say its'racist and sexist while others say it's a waste of money. One viewer described it as 'arrogant, distasteful and supremacist'.
Is it racist? Yes, of course. Non-whites are being portrayed as aggressors who need to be calmed down by a white European. But the black capoeirista is interesting. Does he represents Brazil, the entire continent Africa, or just black people in general? Whatever the meaning, the hidden message is loud and clear.
The EU has released a statement.
Statement on the recent video clip released by DG EnlargementStatement on the recent video clip released by DG Enlargement
06/03/2012 We have received a lot of feedback on our latest video clip, including from people concerned about the message it was sending. It was a viral clip targeting, through social networks and new media, a young audience (16-24) who understand the plots and themes of martial arts films and video games. The reactions of these target audiences to the clip have in fact been positive, as had those of the focus groups on whom the concept had been tested. The clip featured typical characters for the martial arts genre: kung fu, capoeira and kalaripayattu masters; it started with demonstration of their skills and ended with all characters showing their mutual respect, concluding in a position of peace and harmony. The genre was chosen to attract young people and to raise their curiosity on an important EU policy. The clip was absolutely not intended to be racist and we obviously regret that it has been perceived in this way. We apologise to anyone who may have felt offended. Given these controversies, we have decided to stop the campaign immediately and to withdraw the video. Stefano Sannino, Director General of DG Enlargement