The question is “What is ‘enough’?
The U.S. depicted in television commercials is decidedly—what, strange? Contrived? It is certainly not demographically accurate. All statistics I have seen indicate that African Americans make up less than 15% of the U.S. population, but that’s not how Madison Avenue sees it, or not how they want us to see it.
Actual statistics on this don’t exist, because I presume one will be called a racist for even noticing, but I would like to call for some volunteer counters. Watch TV on a commercial channel and count the number of white, black, and mixed race actors used in the ads, and report back here what you found. I’ve done this periodically over the last few months, most recently this morning. White actors were actually in the minority today and I’m counting Hispanic-Americans as white.
Do I care? Should I care? I don’t know. I certainly don’t care about the personal attributes of roles presented to hawk various products. Does it bother me that “Jake from State Farm” was magically made black? No, certainly in a vacuum it doesn’t matter: he seems like a nice guy.
But a white actor lost his job purely because of his race. Presumably many are losing their jobs too.
I also don’t like being manipulated, which is what this fantasy U.S. created by ad agencies, presumably acting on the directions of virtue-signaling corporations, is an attempt at doing. I’m assuming that soon we’ll be seeing a huge uptick in Asian-Americans (less than 6%) in ads, since the news media and progressives have decided, contrary to all evidence, that there is a massive “wave” of anti-Asian bias.
Maybe you think this propaganda—and it is propaganda—is a good thing, like the weird proliferation of mixed-race couples (around 10% demographically) in TV dramas and ads. Maybe it is: the representation is not true or accurate, but I suppose the theory is that seeing this version of America will work to subliminally eradicate racism and racial bias. That means, I guess, that calling attention to the device spoils the plan.
I feel that there are several aspects of the deliberate racial distortion that might be unethical:
- As I already stated, it means that the ad-creators are discriminating against white actors for “the greater good.”
- I don’t trust ad agencies and big consumer companies with social engineering
- The effort is political propaganda, however well-intentioned.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…