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Osaka: What did you make of ANA’s ‘blond, big-nosed foreigner’ ad?

by Danny Gong

Bunny Dhruva Awchat
Spanish restaurant owner, 37 (Indian and Portuguese)

I think it is completely stupid. Maybe it’s fine in Japan, but they need to stop doing stuff like this for the sake of the international community. If they wanted to portray foreigners, they should hire some foreign actors. Come on, give them some work!

Megan Frances Carroll
Teacher, 30 (Canadian)

This is what happens when you live in a cultural bubble: You think that blond hair and a having a long nose is something to envy. But for ANA, it’s culturally insensitive and naive. It’s 2014. It wouldn’t be proper for a Jetstar Airways ad to have Caucasian actors pull their eyes back into slants and announce new flights to Japan.

Noriaki Hirota
Social insurance/labor consultant, 31 (Japanese)

The story was not very memorable. The actors had more of an impact because they are famous. Because one of the actors is a famous comedian, I didn’t feel that it was discriminatory; it was supposed to be humorous. If a regular person had put on a blond wig and long nose, that would have been discriminatory.

Sone Manichanh
Pizzeria owner, 34 (Canadian)

Maybe advertising companies don’t think it’s discriminatory. Due to not having a lot of experiences with having a multicultural population, Japanese people tend to not voice their opinions, so even though they may feel that something isn’t culturally sensitive, they may not say anything. But I don’t think it was a good idea — it’s a touchy subject.

Hiromi Okazaki
Office worker, 33 (Japanese)

At first, I didn’t think anything about it; it was just another airline ad about having more flights to different countries. But when my friend said, “What if foreigners had used their fingers to make their eyes more slanted to represent Japanese people?” I realized how foreigners might have felt offended. I feel sorry for those who were insulted by the ad.

Tomonari Aranishi
Retired, 72 (Japanese)

This commercial reminds me of years ago, when I was younger and thought foreigners were very cool. American GIs were so tall, had big muscles and blond hair. I don’t feel that way anymore. Times have changed and there are many cool and beautiful people from many different countries.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

  • DoctorZin

    Only the very stupidest and vigilantly offense-seeking people could have been offended by this ad. This is true of all culture-based humor. The only skin that truly causes problems these days is THIN skin.

  • Cake

    KENAGE…KAWAISOU…!
    Profiling: Japanese man who might be over 60 and has many complexes towards to Caucasian has approved it; the CM is self-abuse image for him!