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16 Nov, 2020 16:31

Triggered? Sainsbury's retailer sparks outrage over 'woke' Christmas ad featuring black family

Triggered? Sainsbury's retailer sparks outrage over 'woke' Christmas ad featuring black family

A seemingly innocent Christmas ad for the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain stylized as holiday home footage of a black family has riled up a certain segment of the online commentariat, while others panned them as racist.

The commercial titled ‘Gravy Song’ was released on Saturday, but still had Twitter fired up on Monday. In a slice-of-life way, the video tells the story of a family gathering around the table for a Christmas dinner made special by the aforementioned gravy. “Food is home. Home is Christmas,” the fairly standard ad concludes.

Despite nothing seemingly being out of the ordinary, the video, with just under a million views on YouTube, provoked the wrath of many online. On Twitter, the situation escalated quickly, with some commenters going so far as to call it “the worst advert I've ever seen” without any explanation.

Some, however, shared some details of their frustration, suggesting that the all-black commercial didn’t represent them and thus had failed at “diversity and inclusion.” One person even tweeted that it was “totally inappropriate in a mainly white country” while others called it out for “virtue signaling.”

The backlash quickly earned its own backlash, as other commenters jumped in to defend Sainsbury’s and accuse the naysayers and negative Nancies of racism. “White people don’t have to be involved in everything,” tweeted one person, adding, “just say you’re racist and go.”

Sainsbury’s official Twitter account itself replied to some commenters, explaining that it wants to be “the most inclusive retailer,” and that its aim is to “represent a modern Britain.”

In fact, the trouble-stirring ‘Gravy Song,’ is only one in a series of three ads, sharing the same aesthetics and general message. The second one, ‘Perfect Portions’, released on Monday, and told a story of an all-white family this time.

Tweeters were quick to point out the curious lack of negative reviews below the white version of the ad, while others mocked the initial outrage by suggesting it was not inclusive enough.

“Where are the part Chinese part Welsh people?!” one person jokingly asked. “This doesn’t represent my family at all. Christmas ruined, kids are crying, thanks a lot Sainsbury’s.”

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