Italian Airline Apologizes For Video Of Actor In Blackface Depicting Obama
By Parker Diakite
An Italian airline has apologized for its promotional video featuring an actor in blackface as former U.S. President Barack Obama.
The video, part of Alitalia’s social media campaign for a new Rome-to-Washington route, was faced criticism after the company shared it across social media.
“Alitalia deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the promotional video on our Washington route,” the company stated on Twitter. “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.”
A report from The New York Times reveals that an airline representative defended the controversial video at first, noting that the actor wasn’t white and that “makeup was applied to highlight (his) features.”
The video, however, was removed from social media promptly.
That didn’t stop social media users from responding:
“I was about to purchase a flight to Rome in Alitalia for next month but I have decided it would be best to fly @airfrance or @lufthansa after this ad. Just completely disgusting,” Twitter user @RDRinMotion, stated.
“My husband and I travel to Italy 2 or 3 times a year, 1st or business class. Alitalia, I can assure you that we will never fly on your airline again. There are so many other, better choices. If you can’t see the offense this ad would cause, you are ignorant & shouldn’t be flying,” another Twitter @anitaluvscapri, said.
“Words fail me,” Alberto Riva, managing editor for The Points Guy stated.