Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ANA recalled an advertising video with a large nose

An advertising video created by All Nippon Airway (ANA) ignited a broad criticism against it.

Reuters: Japan's ANA pulls "big nose" TV ad after online furore

According to the media, this video included a person who equipped a large fake nose and blond wig, mimicking a Western person. Some people criticized that this picture was an expression of racism. ANA pulled out this advertising video, explaining that there was no intention to discriminate any people with the video.

I have not watched this very video, so I cannot judge the fairness of it precisely. At least, I believe the creator and ANA are never racists. But it is a fact that some people, maybe Western, are disappointed watching it. I should consider the meaning.

Racism is an extremely big issue in the world. However, living in Japan, I am seldom concerned with this matter. Almost all Japanese are native and Japan has not accepted any immigration without rare exception. Therefore, we Japanese tend not to be sensible for this issue. In addition, lots of Japanese think blond hair and long nose as cool. This fixed idea might twisted the assessment against this video.

Criticism against racism is an asymmetric topic. If ANA adopted a black person in this video at the same manner, ANA would have been blamed more severely. We are conscious of the problem of discrimination against black, women, gays, and other minorities. It was careless for ANA not to understand the danger taking up the matter of physical characteristics of people, regardless of the race.

On the other hand, it is also true that every humor is more or less poisonous. Almost all publications which succeeded to attract public attention make some people angry. It is not easy to make a definite border between acceptable joke and real taboo.

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