Japanese airline ANA pulls 'racist' advert after complaints it stereotyped foreigners as having big noses and blonde hair
The company made the decision after it apologised for the advert on Monday
A Japanese airline will pull an advertisement featuring an actor wearing a large false nose and a blonde wig, after it was criticised for having racist overtones.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) made the announcement on Tuesday, four days after the advert launched on 18 January.
The advert was intended to promote ANA’s expanded international flight schedule from Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
It depicts two men in ANA pilot uniforms speaking, in English with Japanese subtitles, about how they will be taking the new flights to destinations such as Hanoi and Vancouver.
“Let's change the image of Japanese!” one says, and turns to his colleague, who now wears a large fake nose and a blonde wig, in line with Japanese stereotypes about Europeans.
“Of course,” he replies.
In another version of the ad, one man surprises his companion by offering to hug him. Public displays of affection, especially between men, are uncommon in Japan.
Some customers used ANA’s Facebook page to show their disapproval.
Facebook user Dave Jenkins wrote: “Your latest commercial is racist and offensive. I'd like to cancel my mileage club membership.”
Other users said they said they liked the commercial, while some said it was simply strange rather than racist.
ANA issued an apology for the commercial on its Facebook page, and Japanese media outlets have said the company had also apologised to customers who called in to complain.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman said the advert would no longer be shown on TV in Japan, the only country where it has aired. The airline had yet to decide what it would do with versions on other media, she added.
“We heard a lot of opinions from customers about points in our ad that didn't match with our intention,” the spokeswoman said.
“Our intention was to show Japanese becoming more active and essential to the world.”
She said the wig and the fake nose were intended to show Japanese becoming more accepted overseas, adding the airline did not intend to discriminate against anybody.
“There were people who took it that way, so we are paying attention to this and cancelling the ad,” she said.
The complaints come as Japan prepares to host the 2020 Olympics Games, and is trying to attract more tourists amid a sharp rise in visitors over the last year.
Additional reporting by Reuters
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Osama bin Laden's family members killed in plane crash at Hampshire's Blackbushe Airport
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Great white shark thwarts man's attempt to become first person to swim from Golden Gate Bridge to Farallon Islands
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...