It seems like the new Super Bowl tradition of late is airing commercials which are racist, offensive, or at least racially insensitive toward Asians. In 2008, it was a set of offensive SalesGenie.com ads (written by an Asian, no less). 2010 gave us the Doritos Samurai Guy (who didn’t know the ways of the Samurai). Last year, Timothy Hutton using the plight of Tibet as a punchline for Groupon’s deals on fish curry, not even a dish that Tibetans are known for.
So what fun anti-Asian ads aired during the 2012 Super Bowl? Seeing as it’s an election year, a political ad is making waves: Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra aired an ad accusing the policies of incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow (or Debbie “SpendItNow” as seen in the ad) as being helpful to China, to the detriment of the United States.
From 8Asians reader Peter L:
If you haven’t seen it already, this advertisement went up during the super bowl in place of a local ad spot. It accuses a political opponent of giving political power to Asian countries in a way that marginalizes Asians as a whole… I’m sort of wondering what that chick was thinking when she signed-up to be in this ad. Her way of speaking sounds like she’s a fluent American English speaker, but mid-way through her schtick it looks like she remembers she’s supposed to sound like a stereotypical fob with missing prepositions. Maybe she liked the size of the cheque.
Luckily, this spot did not air nationwide. But thanks to the power of social media, it is being widely shared and condemned— including by a coalition of black ministers, civil rights folks, and even GOP advisers.
Hoekstra’s campaign says that the ad is “satirical,” but I’d argue that there needs to be a bit of wit behind it if you call it satire.