Acura Super Bowl Ad Draws Controversy Months After The Big Game

    April 18, 2012
    Josh Wolford

No soup for you, dark-skinned African Americans.

It’s been nearly three months since the Super Bowl, and with the NFL draft around the corner, people are already talking about the upcoming football season. But today, it’s the past that’s on people’s minds – and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the game. It’s about one of the many Super Bowl ads for which many viewers watch the big game.

Do you remember that Acura ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno? Here’s a quick plot synopsis: Jerry wants to be the first to own the all-new Acura NSX, but finds that he’s been beaten – by one guy. Bribery ensues. He offers to give the guy the Soup Nazi, the world’s last living munchkin, a dancing holographic monkey, a new boat, and more. At the very end, Jay Leno swoops in on a jet-pack flying squirrel suit and snatches the keys to the Acura from Jerry’s grasp.

Decent commercial – definitely not the best of the bunch.

Check it out below:

Did you happen to catch the minor role in the first few seconds? That African-American gentleman who gives Jerry the bad news? apparently he’s the perfect “nice looking, friendly, not too dark” actor that fit the role beautifully.

Wait, what?

In a casting call document obtained by TMZ, that’s exactly what they wanted for the ad. Here, check it out for yourself:


TMZ also claims that the document was leaked by an African American actor who was lessed than pleased about the restrictions. Someone associated with the casting of that ad told them that the “not too dark” restriction “was because lighting and special effects would get tricky.” Ok then…

What do you think? Is this OK? Casting directors have to get specific on what they want, and this is definitely specific. Do you think it’s racist? Would there be a similar controversy if the ad called for “a big, mean, really dark-skinned man?” Let us know what you think in the comments.