Budget Rent-a-Car and ANA Commercials Dubbed "Racist" and "Crude"

Not sure why companies in Japan keep insisting on this kind of imagery, but they do. And this time, it's not just a Japanese company.

As noted by websites Japan Probe and Debito, ANA's new commercial features imagery that some non-Japanese residents living in the country find offensive. "The end result is crude racial humor: har har har, he's got a huge nose like a gaijin," writes Japan Probe.

The purpose of the ad is to show the airline's new international routes (Vancouver and... Hanoi) through Tokyo's Haneda airport.

"At first I thought it was a great thing that ANA were using a real, not gibberish type of English, and then they blow it with the pathetic stereotyping at the end," wrote Debito commenter Richard.

The commercial probably should've ended before this bit as it undermines the entire spot. Change the image of Japanese people by... once again showing crude racial humor? Um...

Some will say that this is a Japanese company, and they didn't know better. It's... an airline that deals with foreigners on a daily basis, and this spot is supposed to be highlighting how international it is (by showing how provincial it is, I guess?).

And it's not just domestic companies. Recently, there's a spate of commercials from the Japanese branch of Budget Rent-a-Car, which are also somewhat odd!

Budget Rent-A-Car spots speaking gibberish English and using goofy noses and accents. The "I'm Mr. Budget" is... Elvis? The female version (about 52 seconds in) looks to be far more egregious. Crude racial humor aside, the ads aren't very clever! I wonder if the company's American headquarters knows about these spots.

Racial humor is fine. But, as I've mentioned previously, the bar for it is much higher than for regular types of comedy.

In Japan, there is stock imagery for foreigners—nee, gaijin. The imagery consists of blond hair, a large nose, and a comically bad Japanese accent.

In short, it's Japan's equivalent of this—and this isn't okay either:

Budget Rent-a-Car and ANA Commercials Dubbed "Racist" and "Crude"

According to New Strait Times, ANA has apologized over the commercial. A spokesperson is quoted as saying, "We apologised to each of the customers [who complained] for having caused uncomfortable feelings and also thanked them for bringing up the issue."

"We have passed on the issue to the section in charge of the advertisement," the spokesperson added, "but as of now we have yet to decide how to deal with the commercial." Um, pull it?

日本人のイメージ、変えちゃおうぜ。[ANAGlobalCH]

All Nippon Airways uses crude racial humor in TV commercial [Japan Probe]

ANA ad on Haneda Airport as emerging international Asian hub, talks about changing "the image of Japan" — into White Caucasian! [Debito]

バジェットレンタカーTVCM [YouTube]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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