A new Snapple commercial advertising their Diet Half & Half drink (half iced tea and half lemonade also known as an “Arnold Palmer”) has drawn numerous negative comments on its YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as at least a few letters to the company. The commercial features an Asian man and a black man arguing about which half of the beverage is better. As two white guys watch them fight, one declares that “when they’re blended so perfectly, who cares?”
The description doesn’t even sound as weird as the commercial actually is. Watch:
It’s tempting to look at this one as more corny than racist, but it’s hard to ignore the racial overtones in the concept and even those are confusing. The black guy is brown so he reps the tea half, but does so in a brown jockey outfit? The Asian guy is yellow so he reps the lemonade while wearing yellow and will ping-pong all in your face to prove his point? It makes the most immature amount of sense ever, especially since those of you who have had half & half know that there’s no sense in treating it as anything but a single beverage.
This commercial, especially the end where anyone willing to over-think for a few seconds can’t help but see two white men basking in some strange processed beverage white privilege, is yet another good example of what happens when there aren’t enough people of color involved in the creative process.