A new Coke ad, called racist by Arab-American groups, will air during Super Bowl XLVII. According to zap2it.com on Jan. 31, advocate groups claim the ad makes Arabs look foolish.
In the commercial, it begins with an Arab walking his camel through the desert. He looks up ahead and sees what appears to be a giant bottle of Coca Cola. Just then a group of cowboys ride over the hills and see it as well. Next up, a "Mad Max" styled motorcyclist races into frame and heads for it as well. Finally, a bus of Vegas showgirls drives into screen, also on the race for it.
As the cowboys, motorcyclist and showgirls try to sabotage each other so they can reach the giant Coke bottle, the Arab can't get his camel to cooperate. Finally, at the end, the ad asks fans to vote on who will reach the Coca Cola first. The Arab is not one of the choices in the voting.
"The Coke commercial for the Super Bowl is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world," said Imam Ali Siddiqui, President of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies. "By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial."
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) wants Coca Cola to "fix the commercial" before Super Bowl XLVII. However, it is not clear whether that group actually saw the commercial. Warren David, the president of the ADC, asked why Arabs are always shows as "oil-rich sheiks, terrorists or belly dancers," none of which has anything to do with this commercial.
Check out the Coca Cola ad here and decide for yourself. Is the new Coke ad racist or are people just overreacting?
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Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.