Carmaker Acura had some explaining to do when the Internet exploded with some background information about its Super Bowl commercial. The spot which stars comedian Jerry Seinfeld was handled by a casting company that put out a call for an African-American man that was “nice looking, not too dark” to fill the role of salesman.
|ACURA SUPER BOWL SPOT
A Black actor who saw the casting call sheet and was none too pleased with the description photographed it and passed it on to the entertainment news show, TMZ, which broke the story. Acura officials said they were unaware of the reference made by the Cathi Carlton Casting agency and they were not responsible for the reference. Nonetheless, the auto company issued an apology:
“We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials.
We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor.
“The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention.
We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand.”
The episode is the latest example of what many call the racial barriers that lock out actors from the industry. Last year a report issued by the institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida looked at commercials airing during the 2011 Super Bowl. It found that of the 66 shown, only eight featured a non-White actor. Additionally, the report also counted only four non-White creative directors out of 58 ads aired.
(Reprinted from Target Market News)