Sony's debut spot for the PS Vita TV features an interracial couple — something that didn't escape YouTube commenters. Hey, if a mixed-race Cheerios commercial can spark a race debate, you can bet a PS Vita one will too!
Yes, YouTube commenters are usually pretty awful! But there's more to this story than just YouTube comments. And not every YouTube user sounded like a moron.
Here are some of the better comments on the clip uploaded by IGN.
"I hope there isn't any controversy of a half white half Japanese family. There shouldn't be anyways since Sony's no.1 consumer is America and Sony is home in Japan."
"it's youtube brah remember that cheerios commercial with the white chick and the black guy people went ape shit over that lol they're actors aswell like i don't get why people get upset but lol it is funny."
"The couple looks beautiful together."
Wrote one YouTube user: "why are there white people?" Replied another: "Because white people also live in Japan?"
Then, there were the comments you've come to expect on YouTube:
"how stupid do you have to be to advertise a product in Japan by showing an Asian woman with a white male? Don't they realise a lot of consumers of these are lonely Japanese guys? Facepalm."
"Am i crazy or is the dad white and not asian?"
"why is there so many Caucasians in a Japanese commercial?"
"ASIAN MEN FOR LIFE. This asian woman is a fcking disgrace for Japan."
"I thought that was pretty weird that they had a Gweilo for the husband. I was looking at the son and thinking so is he half white? He even has Gweilo friends! I was like WHAT IS THIS!?? It was a good commercial besides that though."
"why is this a white family....lol is the japanese that white washed ..."
Um. Yeah! Japanese site Ocha to Gyuunyuu no Kuukan translated the YouTube comments for Japanese net users to pour over. On 2ch, Japan's largest online forum, people sounded off on the comments and the ad.
Here is a small sample:
"Sony is a global enterprise, so foreigners using their products in a commercial seems only natural, right?"
"Maybe this commercial is for the West?"
"Man, who cares."
"She's not even Japanese."
"[YouTube's reaction] is awful discrimination."
"I don't care if it's a white person, a black person, or a dog. It's just a commercial."
"Well, white people are more expressive [in commercials]."
"So sick of hearing white people brag. Simply being born white is nothing to be proud of."
"This isn't Japan. The room is too damn big."
"Did Japanese people really make this ad? Was it really made for Japan?"
"This is the typical Asian face that Westerns like so much."
"Like on the New York City subway, it's filled with ugly white people and black people. They have a cool image, because you see fit black people and white people in movies and TV shows."
"In the first place, this isn't even a Japanese commercial."
"Is this even a Japanese commercial? The woman isn't wearing make-up the way Japanese women do."
"If you think this [couple] is strange, come to Japan and see it for yourself."
"I have no clue why they're getting so worked up over this meaningless thing."
"From the point of view of Japanese, foreigners are the same as dogs."
"This can't be helped. Japanese people worship white people."
"After all, white people are brutish animals."
"Total display of the Japanese inferiority complex hahahahaha."
"Japanese are not a race of people."
"I think a Japanese husband plus a white wife is better."
"They've misunderstood this as an ad aimed at Japan, no?"
"I thought this was a Microsoft Japan ad."
On Japanese TV, the non-Japanese you typically see are celebrities, cashing in abroad by selling things. There are a few local non-Japanese celebrities, who appear in commercials, and speak Japanese. They're not always the "kooky foreigner," and some of them are quite well-known in their own right. Then, there are the foreigners who appear in commercials either as window dressing or to reinforce a certain stereotype that exists in Japan about outsiders.
The PS Vita TV isn't announced yet for North America or Europe, and while the house featured in the commercial looks big, it certainly could be a house in Japan (there are big houses and huge apartments here!). What's more, there are interracial couples (hello!), and the commercial simply reflects that. In a way, Sony itself is proof positive of that.