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DIOS MIO!

Insurance Company Yanks Ad That Portrays Africans As “Stupid And Animalistic Homosexuals”

Yet another soccer player is involved in a homophobic incident—but this one doesn’t involve Twitter or disparaging an opponent.

Liverpool FC goalie José Manuel Reina (a.k.a. “Pepe” Reina) recently appeared in a series of commercials for Spanish insurance company Groupama. In each, he’s in some dangerous predicament—about to get beaten up by a bruiser, skydiving without an instructor, riding a bus with no driver—but keeps his cool because he’s insured. In one scenario, he’s introduced to the king of a African tribe, who makes it clear he’d like to make Reina his mate. (“Reina” is actually Spanish for “queen.”)

But after the ad was attacked by activists for depicting blacks as “backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals,” Groupama announced it wouldn’t be running it anymore. (You can see the clip in question above, starting at the 1:00 mark)

Said Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote:

“I’m shocked on so many levels. Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals? Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina? [He’s] lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade—Does he think it’s okay characterize black people this way? Does he think his black teammates will laugh at his joke?”

Though it pulled the advert, Groupama insisted in a statement that it “does not consider that this advert contains either offensive nor any discriminatory content.”

What say you? Is the commercial offensive or just humorous marketing?

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Mar 4, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 47 Comments
    • Castorp
      Castorp

      It’s a *joke*, people. This is the kind of thing that would offend the same people who are offended by Rush calling Fluke a slut, but NOT Maher saying the same about Bristol Palin. If you disagree, ask yourself: How offended were you when Obama (a.k.a. Mr. Civility) called a large group of his fellow citizens “teabaggers”?
      *pause*
      That’s what I thought.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 8:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • @DJGiddings
      @DJGiddings

      Not offensive in the least. I think the ads (and Pepe) were cute an quirky. Some people just need to find anything to complain about.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 8:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scrivo
      scrivo

      I’m gay (and white) and I didn’t find this at all offensive. How do you get from this ad that all Africans are gay? If a gay guy were forced into sex with a woman, that would be an uncomfortable scenario just like this one. Lighten up gays and blacks. Save your artillary for the real battles.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • prince of snides aka divkid
      prince of snides aka divkid

      holyfuckingchrist!
      noooo, not today, thank you. *backs out of the door*

      Mar 4, 2012 at 8:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      d@prince of snides aka divkid: LMAO!!!

      Mar 4, 2012 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xamthor
      xamthor

      the “bone in the nose” savage stereotype does seem somewhat dated. I find it more racist than homophobic. not the most offensive thing i’ve seen, but i would not have let it ran. the writers of the commercial could have come up with something better.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • delurker
      delurker

      @Castorp: Bristol Palin had an out of wedlock baby as a teen. Reasonable minds can differ as whether she is a slut. Ms. Fluke is taking BC pills to treat ovarian cysts. Does that make her a slut?

      And link to Obama using “teabagger”? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

      Lots of racist and conservatives (I repeat myself) posting today.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marcus
      marcus

      I will preface this by saying that I am black and gay. That said, I am not offended by this and I would imagine that most people who are do not fit those demographics. As an objective observer, I think it is very clear that the depiction of the black people was very specific to tribal culture and not the the black family down the street. As far as the homophobia; portraying a heterosexual man not wanting to have sex with another man is not homophobic . . . it’s a matter of fact. I agree w/ scrivo, save your energy on actual battles.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      @Castorp:

      but NOT Maher saying the same about Bristol Palin.

      Bristol Palin is a slut.

      How offended were you when Obama (a.k.a. Mr. Civility) called a large group of his fellow citizens “teabaggers”?

      They called themselves teabaggers. It wasn’t until Glenn Beck figured out what the rest of us were laughing at, that he started calling them tea partiers.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      First off, the bus ad was damned funny. Secondly, if they hadn’t done the whole African-with-beads-and-bone-through-nose bit, I don’t think the ad would have been so offensive. It was actually pretty funny. And Reina seemed pretty game. I think this is more about the fear of racism, than anti-gay bias, because Reina seemed pretty game.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      I think what’s most offensive about this as is the black face. I’m 100% positive there are black Spanish speaking people in Spain.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      Much ado about nothing.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @Castorp: Your comment is idiotic and totally off-topic. Thanks for your insightful input.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      Of course, it’s offensive. Homosexuality is evil so to say that blacks could be suffering form this disease is wrong. There are no homosexuals in Africa!

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Castorp
      Castorp

      @ delurker Fluke is NOT taking BC pills to treat ovarian cysts. She claimed – without evidence – in her testimony that this was true of others. But then again, she is a dishonest 30 year old woman’s rights activist who tried to portray herself as a 23 year old co-ed on TV.

      http://www.jammiewf.com/2012/sandra-flukes-appearance-is-no-fluke/

      Does anyone seriously believe that, if there were actual cases of discrimination, they would not show any evidence whatsoever to back up this claim? Freeloading Fluke was NOT claiming that insurance should only cover people who had legitimate medical claims. She was equally arguing for coverage for her recreational college sex life and making wildly exaggerated claims about the cost of birth control as well. To feel sorry for a full grown law student (with a Georgetown law degree, she will rake in the bucks), because others won’t pay for her fun goes well beyond parody.

      Also, Obama did indeed use that term. You are wrong. Go argue with ABC News:

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/05/president-obama-gop-opposition-to-stimulus-helped-to-create-the-teabaggers/

      @MEJ They first called themselves the “tea party” and opponents first called them ‘teabaggers’, you are wrong.

      If you think it’s ok to call Bristol a slut and not 30-year-old self-pitying mooch Fluke one, you have double standards and are a hypocrite. Which is why Obama spends half his time posing as Mr Civility and the other half of his time dishing out insults and half-truths to the admiration of his cult followers. All this selective outrage is a joke. The left can dish it out, but they can’t take it. That’s the moral of THIS story.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      What’s really offensive is how lame the jokes are. Thumbs down.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aiden
      Aiden

      Of course it’s racist. Can you tell which tribe in which country that was supposed to be depicted. Of course you can’t because you probably think everyone that lives on that huge continent called Africa lives in a hut.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @marcus: “As far as the homophobia; portraying a heterosexual man not wanting to have sex with another man is not homophobic . . . it’s a matter of fact.”

      You’re a little bit of a moron, aren’t you…

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BLT
      BLT

      In respect to the content of this article. Using “blacks” like that is problematic. It would be nice if it said Black people. Or if these folks really are African, why not use African? African people and Black people are two different groups of people.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Castorp: “If you think it’s ok to call Bristol a slut and not 30-year-old self-pitying mooch Fluke one, you have double standards and are a hypocrite.”

      Not so sure about that. Not that I think Bristol Palin *is* a slut (I don’t know much about her), but I don’t think your logic is correct.

      Example: Snookie and Sienna Miller. We know Snookie, um, gets around. And Sienna Miller, in her day, supposedly did too.

      I’d say Snookie is “kind of a skank.” And I’d say Sienna Miller “has a healthy sex drive.” Cuz, you know. Snookie is kind of a skank.

      See how that works?

      Mar 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      @marcus: Amen! My thoughts exactly! Save energy for REAL battles! Like Gay Marriage repeal in New Hampshire!

      Mar 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Drake: But hey! Aren’t gay teens still committing suicide at an alarming rate? Maybe THAT’s more important than gay marriage in NH, so maybe we should focus on that. But then again, gays are being executed in the Middle East. So let’s focus on *that.” Although … why focus on gays at all, when HUMANITY is still suffering from war and hunger? Let’s solve THOSE problems and then get to the smaller stuff.

      Because as everyone knows, you can’t reply to blog posts online unless all the other problems in the world have already been solved.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • prince of snides aka divkid
      prince of snides aka divkid

      @Mr. Robertson: i love you. just do.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Callum
      Callum

      I’m gay, and white, and I didn’t find this at all offensive. It looks like it is a nostalgic campy look back at the Tarzan movies of the 1930’s.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Red Meat
      Red Meat

      Africa is not a country.

      Not everyone in Africa is black.

      Many countries in Africa have tribes.

      Tribes celebrate, to some degree, like that.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      If only American commercials could be that funny and entertaining.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Kieran: They used to be. And then JFK was elected.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marcus
      marcus

      @Mr. Robertson: Please elaborate. Just calling me a moron does not a point make.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PTBoat
      PTBoat

      Honestly, I find Mr. Woolley’s comment offensive. To say that saying that someone is homosexual is a negative thing is offensive to me.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ed riseman
      ed riseman

      well, I don’t understand what the fuss is about here .. it’s an advert advertising insurance … mildly amusing but not much … how it portrays africans as “stupid &animalistic homosexuals” sounds more like the fantasy of the rent a mouth that is got himself hot & bothered over the advert – methinks he protests too much?

      Mar 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jakey
      Jakey

      @Castorp: Ha ha, oh my.

      This is the kind of thing that would offend the same people who are offended by Rush calling Fluke a slut, but NOT Maher saying the same about Bristol Palin.

      He didn’t say the same thing about Bristol Palin, so that explains that seeming moral contradiction. He did have plenty of harsh words for abstinence-only “education,” especially when she herself began going on tours to tout it after serving as a living example of its lack of effectiveness.

      If you disagree, ask yourself: How offended were you when Obama (a.k.a. Mr. Civility) called a large group of his fellow citizens “teabaggers”?

      Not very, since that was their self-imposed name…until the previous meaning of that word was brought to their attention and they began pretending they’d never called themselves that.

      I realize I’m like the tenth person to reply to this, but clearly you haven’t heard it enough.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      The Racism of Benny Hill. A shocking expose of the hate filled comedy of Britain’s funniest comedian. Tonight on BBC 2.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      @Castorp:

      MEJ They first called themselves the “tea party” and opponents first called them ‘teabaggers’, you are wrong.

      You’re either stupid, or willfully ignorant. Why do you think these people were walking around with tea bags? They called themselves tea baggers.

      If you think it’s ok to call Bristol a slut

      It is ok to call her a slut, because she is.

      and not 30-year-old self-pitying mooch Fluke one,

      Ms. Fluke is a lesbian, so doesn’t need birth control for sex. How can she be a slut then?

      you have double standards and are a hypocrite.

      Since you’re inferring that Ms. Fluke is sluttier than Ms. Palin, then it’s apparent whom is the hypocrite.

      Which is why Obama spends half his time posing as Mr Civility and the other half of his time dishing out insults and half-truths to the admiration of his cult followers.

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      All this selective outrage is a joke.

      You are the best joke I’ve heard all week, cupcake.

      The left can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

      And the right are whiny bitches.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Castorp
      Castorp

      LOL OK, have it your way. Insulting people you agree with is horrible and insulting people you don’t isn’t because it’s objectively true. All closed-minded fanatics feel this way. I’m sure a sarcastic response will hide the fact that you are the mirror image of those you insult, cupcake.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Javier
      Javier

      Simon Woolley, homophobic ???

      For the director of Operation Black Vote (OVB) to be underdeveloped or homosexual is an insult???

      When you point a finger at someone, take a look at your hand because there? are three fingers pointing back at you !!!

      See the speck in your neighbor’s? eye and not the beam in their own.

      “Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals?”

      Mar 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • weirdleisure
      weirdleisure

      @MEJ: Well put.

      Fortunately for us all, Mr. Castorp outed himself in his comment about “closed-minded fanatics.” Recall, he was the one who decided to bring Bristol Palin and President Obama into a discussion thread about whether an ad was racist and/or homophobic. Huh? All I can imagine is that Mr. Castorp is still hurt that his imaginary boyfriend Rush Limbaugh is still coughing up mea culpas to that horrible, horrible Fluke woman as she’s receiving support from the President. The nerve! Unable to quell his rage, Mr. Castorp is now inserting the object of his anger into conversations (whether it’s the topic or not) just so he can argue about it. Now, is it just me, or doesn’t that sound a bit closed-minded and fanatical?

      Mar 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      Homophobic? No.

      Racist? Yes. This outdated depiction is racist. Africa is a huge continent.

      That said I find the comment “animalistic” racist as well. Why is cultural tribal garb(not that this was anyone’s cultural tribal garb) seen as animalistic? Anything short of looking exactly like Americans garners insults and negativity which really is ridiculous.

      All that said I didn’t find any of the commercials funny, but I can’t say I was insulted by the commercial either.

      I am tired of people acting like Africa is some tiny country when it’s full of many different people with many different cultures, ethnicities, languages, countries, and skin tones of every single kind you can find anywhere else around the globe.

      It’s scary how ignorant people are when it comes to Africa, yet anywhere else in the world they’re at least somewhat knowledgeable. Racism really did a number on the ignorant, they won’t bother to inform themselves so they perceive Africa to be exactly what was in that commercial.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Castorp
      Castorp

      @weirdleisure LOL My “rage” seems a bit more under control than yours! In fact, both Maher and Rush are boorish. Either support their right to free expression or decry both them for insensitivity. If you support one and condemn the other, you are indeed a fanatic. All the sputtering fury in the world won’t change that.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil
      Phil

      @Castorp: Right back at you, cupcake.

      Mar 5, 2012 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Price Waterhouse
      Price Waterhouse

      Reina es caliente!

      Mar 5, 2012 at 3:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Judas
      Judas

      ¡Hola! I am Spanish and have seen these adverts several times. I am also gay and my husband is African (and he says white men and women look the same, except for their number of holes).

      None of us feel weird about this campaign, since we know it is pure funny fiction (have you ever seen a black top?).

      There is also an additional line in the last advert that people will not understand unless they speak Spanish.

      Let’s laugh a bit more on ourselves! Isn’t anything better than laughing during sex? :-)

      Note for too sensitive people: My comments between brackets were jokes.

      Mar 5, 2012 at 6:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      @Castorp:

      Somebody get this boy a Whaaaaaaaambulance.

      Mar 5, 2012 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric Auerbach
      Eric Auerbach

      @Judas: Así que porque te acuestas con un africano, ¿crees que eres la máxima autoridad en lo que tiene que ver con el racismo? Y no dices ni pío en cuanto al contenido homofóbico del comercial — al parecer eso también te da risa.

      Sí que acertaron tus padres cuando te pusieron Judas.

      Mar 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      It’s amazing how Queerty, the magazine free of an agenda, except the GAY WHITE ONE poses this as a a question: Is it really racist, “I mean gay WHITE MEN like us dont really find it that offensive. ”

      Interestingly majority of its readers, WHITE MEN who happen to be gay, seem to be of the same opinion

      Mar 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • duke
      duke

      It was in very, very bad taste; so they pulled it. It reminds me of the old depictions of Africans ‘savages’ in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons that are never to be shown ever again (thank goodness).

      Mar 6, 2012 at 12:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      @Judas: So because your made up “husband” is “African” you’re allowed to throw out negative stereotypes and other bs you pulled from your ass?

      If your husband was from a nation in Africa you’d be able to tell us where he’s actually from, Africa is a continent.

      You also wouldn’t say racist white superiority garbage like “Have you ever seen a black top?” implying black men are weak and/or feminine. In reality you’re insecure about yourself and envious of black men or you wouldn’t have felt the need to even type something like that let alone post it.

      Keep stroking your cat and pretending you have a husband…who you insult on the internet.

      Mar 6, 2012 at 4:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Oh, ok.: That’s because old stereotypes, maybe, seem too cartoonish to be offensive. They’re certainly not going to make jokes abou treal problems, like AIDS, the modern-day slave trade (of children), Darfur..

      Mar 6, 2012 at 5:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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