I can’t view that KFC commercial for the grilled chicked the same way anymore. Not after reading this post over at Stuff White People Do. Really, the more I see it, the more ridiculous it seems. What IS the point of the Asian people dressing/acting that way? Read the swipe below and draw your own conclusions:
Perpetually Think of Asian Americans as Foreigners
I don’t normally post commercials, especially for a grossly abusive and unhealthy outfit like KFC. I’m posting this one because it exemplifies so well something that white people often do–think of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners.
I mean . . . is this for real?
As Angry Asian Man points out about this ad,
As you can see, it features folks of varying size, shape and color debating the merits of fried versus grilled chicken… including two Asian dudes dressed in ethnic costume for no apparent reason. Seriously, everyone else in the commercial is dressed “normally,” but these two Asian dudes — speaking in heavily accented Engrish, for good measure — are going full Oriental.
What is the reasoning behind this? Once again, the Asian guys serve as the funny foreign element in the commercial — looking, speaking, and at the end of the spot, dancing like silly-ass fools. That’s racist!
I don’t know, perhaps KFC would like to hear from you about this. Customer contact info here.
Law Professor Frank Wu calls the racist phenomenon exemplified by this ad the “perpetual foreigner syndrome.” The term should be self-explanatory, but for many, it’s not. Wu’s label basically identifies a common American conception of Asian Americans as outsiders, as “un-American,” no matter how fully they signal their American-ness.
Advertisements like this one play up to and perpetuate this syndrome. Ordinary Americans demonstrate that the syndrome has penetrated and infected their psyches when they laugh along with such portrayals, and when they think of those who object to them as oversensitive purveyors of “political correctness.”
I called KFC and complained. It took a few minutes to get through, but then I spoke to a pleasant and very cooperative person, who wrote down my complaint and promised to “pass it on to upper management.” I added my voice to what I hope becomes an indignant clamor, demanding that they take the commercial off the air.
Will you call? (I don’t see an email address on their contact page.)