Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) spring lamb campaign which was praised for including all Australians no matter what their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or ability has been accused of reverse racism- because white men weren’t given enough air time.
The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) received a whole host of complaints that the ad vilified white people and was racist towards young white men.
Check out the MLA campaign ‘You Never Lamb Alone’, created by The Monkeys, stars Cathy Freeman, NRL star Greg Inglis, model Samantha Harris, TV presenter Luke Jacobz, transgender comedian Jordan Raskopoulo and actor Arka Das.
Here’s just a sample of the complaints:
- Racism. I’m anti-racist no matter what race is being vilified including white people. This advertisement clearly states ‘too many WHITE people’ in its commercial which is highly offensive.
- It’s easy to associate the Australian aboriginal with only eating kangaroo but with this current social need for “integration” in Australia, this advert falls horribly short. I found this advertisement offensive in the racist manner it portrays a young white male and those of Caucasian descent generally.
- Surely there is a more appropriate way to make lamb appeal to all racial groups without resorting to an attempt to appease those of non-white European descent by mocking the white population of Australia.
- He was racist in his comments about to many white people on TV and it was racist and offended me.
- The very first thing the person says is both sexist and racist. The person points out that they are white and male saying that this adds to a lack of diversity. Pointing out someone’s race and gender in an advertisement and then denigrating such race or gender is both racist and sexist.
A representative from MLA said in response to the complaints, “MLA submits that this interpretation is unfounded. In fact, the Advertisements celebrate diversity and do not promote any act of discrimination, prejudice or vilification. The Advertisements depict a scene which unites Australians from all sections of the community to illustrate that lamb is the meat that doesn’t discriminate.
“In MLA’s opinion, there is no better way to address this issue than to feature Australians
from all walks of life and racial backgrounds in the Advertisements. The tongue-in-cheek
comment by no means treats white males unfavourably or seeks to ridicule such members of society. We submit that the reasonable viewer would not perceive this statement or the
Advertisements as a whole to be racist or sexist. The Advertisements promote acceptance and tolerance – not bigotry or the incitement of hatred towards white Australian males.”
The ASB agreed with MLA, ruling the advertisement did not portray or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race.
This isn’t the first time the MLA has been examined by the ASB. Its 2016 Aussie Day ad, featuring SBS news reporter Lee Lin Chin, ruffled a few feathers among the vegan community. Those complaints were also dismissed.