A 10-second Instagram post by Volkswagen to promote the new Mk 8 Golf has been taken down after it generated the wrong kind of hype – sparking racial outcries by netizens.
The video showed a man of colour being lifted up by a massive white hand like a puppet and subsequently flicked into a cafe. The cafe as it was pointed out, was called “Petit Colon” – a French term when translated to English means “Little Colony” – something viewers perceived as a reference to colonialism.
Apparently, the video was part of a series that depicts a love story between a man of colour and a white woman. Netizens however, did not react positively to the way the story was presented.
Some eagle-eyed viewers even pointed out that when the “Der Neue Golf” slogan in German first faded into the video, it first spelt “Neger” for a very brief moment before the complete slogan appeared. According to reports, the term “Neger” can be used as the German version of the N-word.
One viewer even went as far as to assume that the person responsible for this video knew what they were doing, in a report by Al Jazeera.
Whether or not that is true, is not for us to say but in case case you’ve not been taught by pop culture, absolutely no one is allowed to used the N-word except for people of colour to address their “homies” (friends). It’s just a fact – an unspoken universal rule.
It could be intentional, it could be sheer coincidence or perhaps that was just how the slogan appeared when special effects were applied during editing, we will never know.
From a different point of view though, could netizens perhaps be a little oversensitive about it? Overthinking things perhaps? Just a little food for thought; a different perspective, if we may. We too, do not tolerate such ideas but often times, it’s easier to be negative than positive.
Volkswagen initially responded by saying they were shocked at the response of the video and how it was perceived so wrongly. However, the company apologised later on and removed the video altogether; saying it was distasteful and unacceptable.
Given that Volkswagen’s history is heavily linked to World War 2, the company also released a statement saying that it firmly rejects such forms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination, according to a report by the BBC.
The company said it would get to the bottom of the matter and there will be consequences for those responsible. *chills down our spine*