Acura Says it's Sorry for Seeking "Not too Dark" African American Actor in Super Bowl Ad


While Acura may have avoided calls when the story on a casting document that called for an African American actor who is "Not too dark" broke out Wednesday morning, the Japanese company has now issued a formal apology.

The document was allegedly leaked to gossip website TMZ by an African American actor "who didn't fit the profile, and who's pissed".

The ad asked for an African American to play the role of a car salesperson in Acura's Super Bowl commercial for the NSX concept featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.

Acura said that it had nothing to do with the casting sheet and that this is the first time it heard about it.

The company's full statement follows below:

"We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials.

We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor.

The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand."




The Man said... »April 18, 2012

 What`s the big deal? I am the same race, and am not offended at all. Look up the brown paper bag rule used in the early 1900`s. We don`t care, we really don`t, unless you are a lowlife like Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson just trying to start trouble.

Hugh Jorgan said... »April 18, 2012

I just love Oreo cookies.

The Man said... »April 18, 2012

 So it`s wrong for me as a black man to not hate people of other races,??? People like you have made Africa a third world hell, and you are doing it to our own country (Detroit, Atlanta, St Louis). I can honestly say I am very ashamed of my race.

Camdb said... »April 18, 2012

@Bcouch Perhaps you should speak for yourself. It's good not to hate anyone for their race, least of all yourself.

Hugh Jorgan said... »April 18, 2012

Not what I said or meant , I was being sarcastic ...seams odd that you are not offended by things like this, this is not terrible on the surface as there may be other reasons for this request, but your saying you are ashamed of your race is appaling.
If you are really black and from your comments I doubt it, you should get some backbone.
I am not a bigot and you should stand up and be a man.

Hugh Jorgan said... »April 18, 2012

You may have said it better than I did.

Teverett335 said... »April 18, 2012

Hmm, my original post was deleted.  I am black guy and I don't see what the big deal is. 

Camdb said... »April 18, 2012

Imagine that you are a black actor applying for this job, but the requirement is for lighter complected blacks only. You might want to consider the "old' phrase; if you're white, alright...if you're brown,stick around...if you're black,stay back.

Alx said... »April 18, 2012

The point here is that these advertising companies (not Acura), look at people as 'talent' or just 'product' they are actually desensitised and unaware of how actually WRONG it is to use such phrase.

Even bigger issue here is that these advertising gurus are aware of social perceptions, which unfortunately still exist within the demographic make-up of their target market (even broader), that lighter *read whiter* shades of black are more acceptable, desirable, palatable... THAT is the real problem raised by this advertising blunder!  

aaronbbrown said... »April 18, 2012

 Advertisers know what sells, and dark skin doesn't sell, it doesn't even sell among black folks in America and other parts of the world.  Advertising is a reflection of society, they're in the business of making money, and there are certain realities that they usually don't talk about openly.  Looks like somebody slipped up here.
 Take a look at the ads in women's magazines, specifically those geared towards African-American women, they often lighten the skin of dark women, even well-known actresses, making them 2 to 5 shades lighter than they appear in reality.  Advertisers do this because they know that black women, as a group,  have a more positive accepting reaction to Products presented by lighter skin women, within certain target demographics.  Basically black women, particularly older black women 30-50, are more likely to buy products from women they want to look like.  Light-skinned, particularly among the older generation. is considered desirable within Black culture in the US.  A remnant of slavery that continues to be reinforced within black culture, as well as the larger US culture. 

 Take a look at the African-American women in rap videos, most often they are predominantly light-skinned, with what some would say were more European/Caucasoid like facial features, lips, noses and hair.  Seldom do you see very dark, or what could be described as classically African looking women, natural hair, fuller lips, wider mouths, wider set eyes, greater prognathism, in such videos.  Now whether these features are necessarily an expression of Blackness, or people of African descent from an anthropological perspective, is certainly up for debate and highly questionable.  But in the minds of many, those who live within the sphere of dominant European media culture, which now even includes China and India, the Middle East, South America etc. - in other words  everywhere -  that is what is generally accepted as attractive and beautiful within the larger global culture. Some examples women in rap videos here:  I spent a lot of time in dance clubs In the early 90s when I was still young, and I can tell you from first-hand observation, dark skinned sisters didn't get nearly as much love from the brothers as light-skinned sisters did, especially in clubs that were predominantly Black/African American.   This tendency seems most acute among African-American men, black men from other parts of the world, Africa, Europe the Caribbean,  seemed somewhat less affected and/or afflicted with such color bias tendencies, in my observation.

Dominik Rosario said... »April 19, 2012

Did anyone else notice that there was a darker black man and woman cast in the commercial as well? Watch  at 0:36.

Adrian said... »April 19, 2012

Hello everybody,

Is your country filled with absolutely idiots? I can t understand what the problem is. A white guy could be as much offended of that announce, no? I mean, what is this? Why not a white guy? ( I am from Europe, and I really could not understand what the problem is.

Lisa Jenkins said... »April 19, 2012

 Hi, you IDIOT, do you not understand that using an african american male, that Acura is trying to garner the interest and market of African Americans? Do you also understand, idiots, that african americans find this offensive? Do you not understand, idiot, if you are trying to market to a certain audience, you don't OFFEND THEM, idiot? And now, idiot, african americans will choose to NOT buy their products, idiot? Do you realize they understand the significance of NOT getting into the African American market, especially with out buying power as a group, idiot? Do you understand, now, why that was a move that is guarantee to piss off the same audience they want to draw in? Thats how targeted marketing works, idiot, except you need to know how NOT to piss out target audience with this jim crow/ white supremist idea of beauty or acceptability....idiot. I made it as simple as possible for you.

Polyester Poontang said... »April 19, 2012

Wow, did you just service Ted Nugent?

Alx said... »April 19, 2012

That was my point exactly, and this is a massive issue, all around the world!

As long as advertising & media promote this, deracialisation will remain a problem. 

People need to be educated, taught to embrace their race, skin colour, culture and custom - it is what makes this world a better and richer place.

Nsx said... »April 19, 2012

It amazes me how many retarded black people wasted their time posting how they don't find this offensive. While the majority of your population spends their time in the Ghettos and prisons of america, you are comfortable reading things like this and you dont even realize that this mentality affects you, even if your lighter. Just because you feel you dont look that african, doesnt mean the rest of society thinks you arent black.  The world looks at you as nothing but trash, and like dumb asses, you guys sit there nod your heads, not realizing that the same people who your trying to impress, dont think your any better then those "dark" peoples.
So please do us all a favour and , STFU. Its like that looser in highschool who you make fun of and instead of defending himself, he adds on to the insults by insulting himself. 

Alx said... »April 19, 2012

I am a European caucasian male living in Australia and I found this offensive! ...hence my comment above.

Mralp1 said... »April 20, 2012

No you on your own don't care. Please don’t include the rest of us.  Hmm, maybe you’ll care when the cops pull you over for being too dark while driving, if they haven't already... Look up racial discrimination… Again you are another person that shouldn't vote because you don't care that others before you fought and die for the right to do so because they discriminated against for the color of their skin.
So let’s do this…  Why do we just revoke your rights that you clearly don't care about, Uncle Ruckus. Oh look up the Boondocks if you don't know who that is.  I’m ashamed of you as a person u being black, (excuse don’t want to miss label you, I mean African American) has nothing to do with it. 

Mralp1 said... »April 20, 2012

CC: you on my comment @ "The Man".  Please don't vote or reproduce... Thanks

Mralp1 said... »April 20, 2012

Oh and thank you Acura for the apology...

Adrian said... »April 20, 2012

 Oh, my God ( or Mein Gott....Hitler dixit), if Acura is begging for some cotton workers for sell their products......

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