Thursday, March 26, 2009
So I was reading through random news headlines today and came across "Ciroc: Only Light Skinned Women Allowed for Ciroc Ads". For those of you who do not know, Ciroc is a brand of liquor produced and represented by P. Diddy, an African American music artist and ever increasing entrepreneur. After reading the story and examining the original casting call for the upcoming Ciroc commercial video shoot, it indeed requests women who are: "White, Hispanic, or light skinned African American". This really struck me because P. Diddy, an insider, is essentially perpetuating and upholding common stereotypes traditionally deriving from an outsiders point of view. In addition, it seems as if this behavior is acceptable because he is an "insider" of the African American culture. I could not help but ponder what the reaction may be had someone like Justin Timberlake, an outsider, posted a similar casting call for his next music video shoot. I only happened to stumble upon this casting call because I was skimming a popular celebrity news website. However, had the tables been turned, I feel fairly confident that Justin Timberlake's face would be posted on every news channel, and/or newspaper labeling him as a racist and a bigot. In my opinion, this discrepancy should not occur. I think it is equally as concerning, problematic, and disheartening for P. Diddy to essentially encourage stereotypes and hierarchically categorize members of the African American Race. It makes me really sad to think that in this day and age light skinned women are still receiving preferential treatment in comparison to those having a darker complexion. Skin color is just that, a color. It is certainly not determinant of one's level of attractiveness, ability, level of intelligence, etc. Overall, I just found several aspects of the insider/outsider debate existing within the restrictions placed upon this casting call and felt fairly discouraged to see that it was seemingly "okay" for this behavior to occur because P. Diddy is an insider. In my opinion, regardless of the ethnic orientation of one making these demands, it is unacceptable across the board.
Here is the Original Casting Call: