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Published on Jan 4, 2010
The Australian arm of the fast-food chain KFC has been accused of racial insensitivity over a television commercial showing an outnumbered white cricket fan handing out pieces of fried chicken to appease a dancing, drumming and singing group of black West Indian supporters.
Aired as part of a series called "KFC's cricket survival guide", the 30-second clip depicts an uncomfortable looking man named Mick wearing a green and yellow Australian cricket shirt, surrounded on all sides in a cricket stand by high spirited Caribbean fans.
"Need a tip when you're stuck in an awkward situation?" Mick asks. He then passes round a bucket of KFC chicken, the drumming stops and he remarks: "Too easy."
Placating a crowd of black people with a bucket of chicken is considered good marketing by Kentucky Fried Chicken in Australia -- but it's causing a bit of a fervor here in the States.
The ad shows a very distressed white guy, surrounded by a crowd of black people at a cricket match, who wonders, "Need a tip when you're stuck in an awkward situation?" He gets out of the "awkward situation" by handing them a bucket of chicken.
A rep for KFC Australia told a local paper, "It is a light-hearted reference to the West Indian cricket team ... 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."
UPDATE -- We just got this statement: "KFC Australia is removing the television advertisement that was being run in conjunction with the Australian cricket season. We apologize for any misinterpretation of the ad as it was not meant to offend anyone."