Thursday, December 2, 2021

Volkswagen Catches Heat Over Racist Instagram Ad, Apologizes and Pulls Video [WATCH]

*A racist advertisement for Volkswagen’s new eighth-gen Golf has been removed from the company’s Instagram, after the brand said they are just as horrified as the public by the video.

The company apologized for the controversial ad in a lengthy joint statement from Volkswagen’s head of sales and marketing Juergen Stackmann and head of diversity, Elke Heitmueller.

“We posted a racist advertising video on Volkswagen’s Instagram channel,” they said in the statement. “We understand the public outrage at this. Because we’re horrified, too. This video is an insult to all achievements of the civil rights movement. It is an insult to every decent person.”

As noted by Business Insider, the ad shows a light-skinned hand flicking a dark-skinned man away from the new yellow Volkswagen Golf parked on the street, and into a restaurant with the name Petit Colon above the door, which translates to Little Colonist or Little Settler.

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Volkswagen originally responded to the criticism by noting on Instagram that they were “surprised and shocked that our Instagram story could be so misunderstood,” according to the BBC.

After catching major heat from social media users, the ad was pulled on Wednesday.

“I sincerely apologize as an individual in my capacity as a board member at Volkswagen Sales & Marketing. Hatred, racism, and discrimination have no place at Volkswagen!” Stackmann wrote on Twitter in German. “In this case, I will personally ensure full transparency and consequences!”

Volkswagen told The Associated Press that the advert had been pulled because “we can understand the outrage and anger.”

“Without question: the video is inappropriate and tasteless,” Volkswagen wrote. “We will clarify how something like this could happen, and there will be consequences.”

You can view the deeply unsettling ad via the YouTube clip above.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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