Here's the ad:
And here's what KFC had to say:
"It is a light-hearted reference to the West Indian cricket team," the statement read.
"The ad was reproduced online in the US without KFC's permission, where we are told a culturally-based stereotype exists, leading to the incorrect assertion of racism.
"We unequivocally condemn discrimination of any type and have a proud history as one of the world's leading employers for diversity."
So the ad was not supposed to be viewed by Americans, but presumably only by racist Australians? Here's a question: was it supposed to be viewed by West Indians? Because I'm one, and I'm a cricket fan. And I'm pissed off. Hope that helps.
True, there isn't the same stereotype in the Caribbean - as there is in the US - that black people like fried chicken. But 1) the entire world and parts of Saturn are aware of the "black people like fried chicken" stereotype. You create an ad featuring groups of Black people that you're portraying as unruly and perhaps threatening (hence the white guy cowering in the middle); it doesn't matter that the people aren't wearing red, white and blue. They are Black people. That is going to offend Black Americans, and quite possibly Black people elsewhere.
2) Even in the absence of the fried chicken stereotype, that ad is offensive. Black people (Caribbean or otherwise) can apparently not be identified with, or spoken to with actual words (most of the West Indies team and their fans speak English as a first language, by the way). So they must be offered food. Cheap, unhealthy food offered by a White man in order to achieve some self-serving ends. That does not sound familiar at all.
3)Alright, so non-cricket-watching Americans don't get it. There's a rivalry, see, that has existed for decades, between the Australian and West Indies cricket teams. And here's an Aussie fan stuck in the middle of the West Indies section. However will he escape? Well, for starters, he could be shot eating some of the chicken himself. Two extra seconds of filming that may have saved KFC a lot of embarrassment. That way, the message could have been "See? Crappy fried food brings us together!" Rather than "Want to calm the natives? Offer them some
The overwhelming argument in support of the ad and attacking the stoopid Americans who dare to get offended is as follows: it was aired at a cricket match between Australia and the West Indies, so you won't get it because you don't get the Australian cricket culture. Well, there's another culture to consider here, which is kind of the point. And had I been at that cricket match when that ad was aired, I would have had some issues.