Volkswagen has issued an apology for a commercial that many have slammed as “racist.”
Per TMZ, the German automaker recently posted and then deleted a controversial advertisement for their new Golf 8 model on Instagram that shows a black man poked, picked up, and then flicked by an oversized white hand into a restaurant named “Petit Colon,” which translates to “Little Colonist” in French.
When the German slogan “Der Neue Golf” — which translates to “The New Golf” — appears on the screen, the letters appear to spell out a German word often used as a slur against black people.
Here is the Volkswagen ad that has caused outcry for being racist— Bra Joe (@JoeNameTaken) May 20, 2020
Needless to say, an overwhelming amount of Twitter users blasted the car company’s video as “racist.”
“WT-! @volkswagen it doesn’t get any more [obvious]. This is not only racist, it’s deeply unsettling. So what’s the agenda behind this?” exclaimed one commenter.
“Did y’all see this new Volkswagen [ad]? I’m baffled how companies continue to do racist things and their defense is they didn’t think it was racist & it wasn’t intentional. How many people watch the [ad] before it’s released? Do better,” said another.
In a statement obtained by TMZ, Volkswagen’s head of sales and marketing Jürgen Stackmann and group head of diversity Elke Heitmüllerare issue an apology for the controversial clip.
“We understand the public outrage at this. Because we’re horrified, too. On behalf of Volkswagen AG, we apologize to the public at large for this film,” they said. “And we apologize in particular to those who feel personally hurt by the racist content because of their own history."
“We’re ashamed of [the ad] and cannot explain how it came about. All the more reason for us to make sure we clear this up,” they added.
The two also say Volkswagen “does not tolerate any form of racism, xenophobia or discrimination.”