And the same old story continues! In this chapter, plural Arab and Arab-American groups are crying foul over the brief depiction of a few weary nomads at the start of Coca-Cola’s “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style Super Bowl commercial.
You’ve already seen the ad (or at least we’ve already made it available to you, so if you haven’t seen it, get with the program!), but we’ll bet that, like us, you missed the scene that is causing so much offense. Here’s the spot again:
Now… seriously, is that an offensive depiction of Arabs? If anything, this ad is offensive to cowboys, to showgirls, and to whatever the hell those other guys are, the Badlanders, but not to the nomads—they just look like they have been on a desert journey for a while, and they’re hot and tired. That’s what happens, or so we thought, when you journey through the desert!
Notwithstanding, here is about the most angry of the criticism leveled against Coke and their ad: “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.” That quote is from an email picked up by Reuters that was sent by Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies. Where the hell did he see that message? Because we missed it…