Earlier this week it was announced that a number of major corporations like Kia and Red Bull had pulled their sponsorship from the LA Clippers in light of the racist statements allegedly made and caught on tape by team owner Donald Sterling.
Those corporations made the right decision to protect their brand name and image by publicly distancing themselves from Sterling and his hateful words.
In a statement, Kia motors said, “The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values. We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activities with the Clippers.”
One wonders, though, how those same companies can justify continued association with similarly racist, anti-Semitic and misogynistic remarks like:
“C’mon you know you Jew girls want that dollar.”
“How long before we play pin the eviction notice on the black guy’s door.”
“The Chinese are a lovely and honorable people. But you can’t trust them…There’s a reason Shanghai’s a verb!”
“Whatcha playin’? Punch the Puerto Rican?”
“You’re Jewish, you’re good with money. I’m Irish, I drink and I ban homosexuals from marching in my parade.”
“You have to win that National Spelling Bee so that you can go to a top college– and I can rub it in that Kabuki whore’s porcelain face!”
“That’s what it’s all about Glen, don’t rape it back, rape it forward.”
“You are good at nothing. But there are still minority quotas. Your name is Tatanka. Now I’m going to jump online and buy you a book about dealing blackjack.”
(Spoken by an African-American character) “Lawd-a-mighty, ah done seen me a deeead body down by de lake. Sho’ ‘nuff, ah thought ah’d go deef and dumb when ah saw me dat dead body.”
These examples from “American Dad,” “Family Guy,” and “Dads” are not unusual, and the bigoted humor on these programs is well documented.
So, to Kia, Red-Bull and the other sponsors that wisely chose to stop putting their money behind someone with a history of racially insensitive remarks – perhaps it’s time to reconsider your continued support for bigoted and misogynistic content on these programs, as well. Content that you’ve helped to make possible with your ad dollars.
These companies risk doing just as much damage to their brands this way and they did in associating with Sterling – so why not be consistent?