Inspired by “The Lone Ranger,” Texas car dealership Charlie Clark Nissan released an ad that just screams racial insensitivity.
The commercial opens with clearly Caucasian Clark dressed in Native American face paint and clothing to ask, in broken English, “HOW do I get new Nissan for 1-9-5 a month?” The yuks continue with name pronunciation misunderstandings (“Toto?” “Tonto.”) and a rain dance to close the spot.
If Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Tonto was perceived by some as racist, there’s no way Clark was able to pull it off.
But this Native American-themed ad, which is no longer on YouTube, isn’t the first of its kind. In fact, Clark has a slew of other ethnically inspired spots that take shots at everyone from Asians to Italian chefs.
Each ends with the gotcha moment that the character wasn’t a real Karate master … it was Charlie Clark all along.
Here’s the Tonto ad. The most cringeworthy part might be when a white car dealer uses actual air quotes to say he has no “reservations” about sending him to Charlie Clark Nissan:
Here’s the “Karate Kid” ad in which a heavily accented Clark asks dealers to (karate) “chop price.”
And then there’s the Italian chef who exalts “mmm spicy meatball” whenever he gets excited. It’s called Romano Parmigiano:
To keep things fair, Clark also has a white cowboy ad:
Also appearing en español (and with darker hair):
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