Ken Wheaton, an Ad Age columnist, thinks the latest Verizon Wireless TV ad depicting an Italian American cookout was a bit over the top. “A blatant stereotype parade,” he put it.
One reader agreed. He wrote a lengthy letter about the spot, which Wheaton published in his column, blasting Verizon and everyone else who stereotypes Italian Americans.
“My beef is … with advertisers, screenwriters, directors, corporate executives, etc, who profit from turning a wonderful culture into a sinister, almost cartoon-like caricature,” Peter Fosco said in his letter to Ad Age.
Fosco implicates actors James Gandolfini, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Steven Spielberg as stereotype profiteers.
So is this ad a 30-second racial slur?