An Ad With Talking Pandas, Maybe, but Not With Chinese Accents - New York Times via Consumerist shared in Google Reader by Mike
Still, “if I offended anybody,” Mr. Gupta said, “believe me, I apologize.”
That is NOT an apology. You DID offend people, and by not acknowledging that you did, you are not apologizing.
Even more ridiculous?
Mr. Gupta said he planned to keep running the other Salesgenie commercial, featuring an animated salesman named Ramesh who speaks with an Indian or other South Asian accent.
The reason, Mr. Gupta said, was that “more people seem upset about the pandas than Ramesh.”
So, let’s summarize. These clowns made two commercials based on caricatures of ethnic groups. But people only really complained about one. So, they issued a fake apology and kept running the one that people didn’t really seem to mind.
I’m not sure what this says about American feelings towards people who are “Indian or … South Asian”. Are we still mad about outsourcing and blame anyone with that kind of accent? That’s kind of sad. In some sense I’m surprised we aren’t more mad at the Chinese, since the ‘toys with lead’ incident is more recent than the explosion of outsourcing. But I guess some people are still serving “freedom fries”, so who knows what grudges the American public will hold on to.
My real problem here is SalesGenie’s response. Anyone can say or do something offensive - it could be accidental, or poor judgment, or whatever. It happens. The real judge of character is what you do to fix it. The very first thing you do is you stop whatever you did which was offensive. They did half of that. The next thing you do is make a sincere apology. They didn’t do that. Finally, you take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I don’t know if they’ve done this or not, and I’m not really inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.