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Car Ads, Now With Extra Racist Caricatures

By Margaret Lyons in News on Dec 19, 2007 6:42PM

South Oak Dodge in Matteson, Ill., normally wouldn't get our attention, but the ad they're running on Fox Chicago, which features "Import Man," a guy in a sumo wrestler outfit who speaks with a crude accent, is pretty offensive.

We left two messages for Don Peterson, the general manager of the dealership and star of the commercial, and we'll keep you posted if we hear something back.

The Asian American Institute's action plan after the jump....

In the email they sent out this morning, the AAI said:

Please fight this racist and offensive advertising.... The following message can be sent to the Dodge dealer, a FOX Chicago manager, and the majority owner of Chrysler (Cerberus Capital Management).


Subject: Pull Asian-Bashing South Oak Dodge Commercial

South Oak Dodge Managers:

I have learned that your car dealership has been running an "Import Man" commercial. The anti-Asian sentiment, grotesque mockery of Asian people, and Asian-bashing nature of this commercial is offensive and harmful. In fact, twenty-five years ago, comparable anti-Japanese sentiment led to the eventual murder of Vincent Chin (two unemployed autoworkers in Detroit, believing that Vincent was Japanese, beat him to death with a baseball bat). You should immediately remove this anti-Asian and xenophobic ad from all media spots and your website.

Thank You.