Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wish you were here

I am sure you have caught up with the controversy surrounding that Iberia online promotion featuring half-naked Cuban mulatas bottle-feeding a baby tourist …

Well, it seems the Spanish airline has now decided to withdraw the ad, as you can read here.

The decision follows public complaints from a Spanish consumer advocacy group which argued that the promotion was sexist and demeaning to Cuban women, and promoted “sex tourism”.

Curiously, though, there has been no comment about the ad from the authorities in Havana, as far as I can tell.

This is highly unusual, given the Castro regime’s well-developed sense of fake outrage whenever it comes under attack in the media.

You know, the old ploy about defending the “dignity” of the Cuban people …

Perhaps the silence from Havana has something to do with reports showing a serious decline in the number of Western tourists visiting the island?

According to figures quoted by the Associated Press, tourist numbers declined by about 100,000 last year "hitting the communist nation's leading source of income".


Anonymous asombra said...

I saw the ad, which was done in animation as opposed to employing live actors. It was not only sexist but unbelievably racist. Scantily clad black women with grotesquely exaggerated lips rode around Havana in a pink convertible and proceeded to devote themselves completely to catering to a white "baby" with an adult male voice. There was a pseudo-rap vocal track, in which the "baby" would make suggestive comments like "come on, mulatas, put me to bed."

If an ad along these lines had aired in the US, all hell would have broken loose. Iberia's response to the controversy, however, has been quite predictable. A spokesperson for the company has stated that the whole matter "was completely trivial."

12:24 am  

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