Tags: Barack Obama | blackface | alitalia | airline | race | racism

Italian Airline Drops Ad Over Obama Blackface Backlash

barack obama points during a speech
Former President Barack Obama (Julio Cortez/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 04 July 2019 06:45 PM

Italian airline Alitalia on Thursday took down an ad featuring an actor in blackface portraying former President Barack Obama following widespread criticism, CNN reports.

The airline also apologized on its social media handles.

The company tweeted:

"Alitalia deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the promotional video on our Washington route. It has since been removed. For our Company, respect for everyone is mandatory, it was never our intention to hurt anyone and we will learn from what has happened."

The ad, which was posted on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, was one of four Italian-language videos made to promote the airline's recently announced flight from Rome to Washington, D.C.

Blackface has a long association with the caricature and mockery of black Americans.

A representative for the airline initially defended the video, saying the actor was not Caucasian and "makeup was applied to highlight features."

Several big-name brands have been accused of using blackface, including Gucci, which apologized for and stopped selling a sweater that many said resembled blackface.

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An ad featuring an actor in blackface portraying former President Barack Obama was removed by Italian airline Alitalia on Thursday following widespread criticism, according to CNN.
blackface, alitalia, airline, race, racism
170
2019-45-04
Thursday, 04 July 2019 06:45 PM
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