Yesterday we told you about Acura’s Super Bowl ad fail in which their casting agency requested only “friendly” looking black actors that were not “too dark” apply for role in the commercial, and yesterday evening the company issued a predictable apology.

Acura, a Japanese car maker and division of Honda, issued a statement:

“We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials. We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor.”

Acura also insisted they had nothing to do with the “too dark” description on the casting call sheet, instead laying the blame on the casting company.

“The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention,” the company said.  “We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand.”

Are you buying Acura’s apology? 

  • Val

    “The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention,”

    I call bulls*t! This was not just any ad, this was a Superbowl ad. Superbowl ads cost millions of dollars and are seen by 100 million people or more, so I do not believe that Acura wasn’t involved in every detail of the ad, including casting.

    As far as I’m concerned Acuras are just overpriced Hondas, so I wouldn’t be buying one anyway.

  • Pat

    Um… you can’t apologize for something you paid millions for, that makes no sense. Own it and make changes not excuses.smh

  • GuyverV

    LOL, “prominent role”

  • Tricia

    You know I don’t care about your damn apology!!! I want you to not think “that” way in the first place!!!

  • Cia

    Honestly it really didn’t bother me that much. Overall no different than them specifying size, or height preference. The apology sounds like BS though…

  • Alison

    How sad that this still continues and next time they won’t specify in writing but just exclude all blacks from future ads. That was a Rush Limbaugh apology: ” Sorry you are so sensitive and sorry you N–gers found out about it.”

  • Elegance

    Do you know what’s interesting about this? This shows that there are certain Black men who the media doesn’t find threatening. Some Black men actually look nice and friendly to them. Notice how he doesn’t look aggressive and is wearing a suit. Dress for success!

  • anonda

    Honda communicated with the casting company about their vision and the casting company put out the casting based on what Honda wanted. A casting director wants to make her/his client happy, so they were only following the instructions of Honda. I work in the business and I see/hear this in varying degrees ALL. THE. TIME. They’re only apologizing because it got leaked to the public and people got pissed.

  • ChezCerise

    Actually, 9 times out of 10, the client never sees the casting breakdowns.

    The client hires an ad firm and the ad firm hires a casting director. The ad firm will give casting general specifications and casting will write the breakdown that goes out to actors and agents.

    Having worked MANY day jobs (both in marketing and assisting in casting offices) I can assure you that I never saw a casting breakdown when I was in marketing.

  • Val


    Read much? I’m sure that, as you say, 9 times out of 10 the client wouldn’t see that casting sheet. But this ad was that 1 out of 10 when I’m sure the client saw the casting details.

    As I said above, this was not an ordinary ad, this was a Superbowl ad. Companies spend months and spend millions on these ads. And this one in particular was even more expensive to make since it included prominent celebs like Jerry Seinfeld. So I’m sure that Acura knew the details from end-to-end of this ad. Which means they knew about the casting directive for a “not too dark” African American actor.

    But if it makes you happy to make excuses for Acura, carry on.

  • Tweedy

    I really don’t give a damn it’s no different from a black man saying he doesn’t want to date a dark skinned woman. Why get upset our own black people do the same to their own people everyday.

  • Frank

    Who cares, not too tall, not too short, not too skinny, so what. Their money, their ad, their right to get the color/shade they want. Next time there will be NO BLACKs, too much trouble with these people…

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    Devils advocate- This really makes me wonder though. How do they do a casting call for ugly people? I know they must do it because you see them in movies. They had to have called for a role for this of person. I do not think it is just Black people, i think the acting industry is very discriminatory. In rom-coms they will not cast two ugly leads. If you have a tampon commercial you will have that one racially ambiguous lady on there so that latinas and Blacks can relate and White women are not alienated.

  • HowApropos

    “Looking for normal, ever-day people…’

  • HowApropos

    I forgot to add:

    Lotsa homely folks get paid big for their unusual look(Steve Buscemi, Sarah Jessica Parker, et al.).

    Being a character actor is quite the fit for those who don’t have the movie star looks, but still captivating to watch.

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    I would call Sarah Jessica Parker unconventionally beautiful. Something between a Barbara Striesand and Jennifer Aniston. Once you make it in the industry it is definitely easier, but as a no-name actor or actress it will be hard. And even still you don’t see the Octavia Spencers getting the Meagan Good roles. Certain roles will ask you to look lighter, prettier, leaner, more mature, more girlish, more muscular, whatever.

  • amy

    clients don’t manage the casting, this is completely at the hands of the ad agency and the synergies with a production company. castings have historically been exclusionary and exacting to place the fitting talent.

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