Acura and its ad agency, RPA, put out a casting call for its 2012 Super Bowl ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld that sought an African-American actor to play a car dealer who was “not too dark,” according to Jalopnik.The client sought a performer for the role of “African American Car Dealer” who was “Nice looking, friendly. Not too dark. Will work with a MAJOR COMEDIAN.” (Click to enlarge document.)
The call was put out by Ocean Park Casting. A message left for the casting director, Cathi Carlton, was not immediately returned. The agency that produced the ad was rp& (a division of RPA). It was directed by Craig Gillespie of MJZ, according to Adweek.
Racism in the casting of black actors for commercials should come as no surprise. For years, Madison Avenue has turned to a single actor, Jamison Reeves, to play a stereotypically non-threatening black male in ads. His bearded, bushy haired hipster with trendy glasses has been in at least 40 — 40! — TV commercials.
Here’s the spot:
Correction: This item originally incorrectly identified the client as American Express. While Seinfeld has done commercials for Amex, his 2012 spot was of course for Acura. Apologies for the error.
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