We loved the hilarious Super Bowl ad for the coming-some-day-but-not-anytime-soon Acura NSX starring Jerry Seinfeld, but we really wish it would have popped back onto our radar for a different reason than this. (Like a production announcement from Honda.) TMZ is reporting that when the commercial was cast, the ad the agency responsible had sought an African-American actor to play the car dealer who was, "Nice looking, friendly. Not too dark." And the website has a copy of the document to prove it.

To paraphrase one of Seinfeld's catch phrases: "Yes, there's everything wrong with that."

While we'd like to think that some day the obvious interpretation might be that the casting director was referring to the actor's mood, clearly that's not the case here. TMZ says an unnamed source associated with the commercial told it that "not too dark" had something to do with lighting and special effects, and we hope that's true. Still, the way the brief description reads, it certainly sounds like whomever was casting the spot thinks dark-skinned people are neither nice nor friendly.

We're not about to throw Honda under the bus – it was, after all, an outside ad agency named RP& that shot the ad, according to Motoramic – as the automaker apologized, issuing the following statement:

We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials.

We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor.

The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand.

While we're glad to see Honda react promptly and properly, re-watching the commercial gave us further pause: If Honda indeed sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role, did it consider an African-American for the part of the guy who's first on the list for the NSX, as opposed to the salesperson?

Scroll down to watch the commercial for yourself.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 144 Comments
      Hakim Givens
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a dark-skinned black person, this doesn't offend me at all... I just think some people need to stop getting so easily offended. Now if it said "no dark ghetto black people", I'd be like "Oh....". But the casters are looking for a specific type of person- isn't that what they're supposed to do? Let it go people!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        They do it out of fear, and in an attempt to save face and/or prove that they are not racist. In the process, they not only look pathetic and spineless, but also racist themselves.
      Jameskey
      • 2 Years Ago
      We are getting WAYYYYY too sensitive! Are you kidding me?
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's a pretty good commercial for a nice car, so it's a shame AB chose to focus on some dude's shade of black. Before I read this story, I never gave much thought to one's shade of black, and I certainly never looked down on Michael Jordan, Shaq, or Wesley Snipes for being darker. Now, whenever I see black people, I am going to try and see what their shade of black is. Thank you AB.
        asahguii87
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chris
        so true black people hurt their own cause.
          asahguii87
          • 2 Years Ago
          @asahguii87
          im all for equality, but when rights groups get all up tight over non-issues it makes people resentful. btw whites have shades too olive, bronze, pale, etc. casting agencies have made requests differentiating shades.
          Tone
          • 2 Years Ago
          @asahguii87
          What cause? It's 2012. If I still have a "cause", then your post contradicts its own purpose. Is the cause...equality? Oh, thanks for reminding me. Now I know again why this is an issue...
      RetrogradE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Green jacket, blue jacket, who gives a sh**?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      BTCC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Arianna Huffington. Your subversive attempts to create divisions for your leftist agenda are NOTED! Tacky AOL, just TACKY.
      TT NYC
      • 2 Years Ago
      the story neglects to include whether someone was actually upset over this. are black people really unaware that they come in different shades? whites and asians do, so really who is bent out of shape over this? sounds like someone saw the word "dark" used in a manner other than bashfully flattering and the sense of white guilt kicked in. seems acura is apologizing to white people.
      breakfastburrito
      • 2 Years Ago
      They meant to say "black, but not angry black like Kanye West, nor scary black like the hologram of Tupac".
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Hologram Tupac in commercials, I'd buy it. Hologram Tupac for president? Yes we can!
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, but see, this is the first Acura commercial ever that was actually GOOD. So evidently, if you want this, you have to go with an agency that gets right to the point and focuses on what matters. If they thought they were being racist, do you think they'd really put that on paper? These people don't have time for bullcrap like this, and for God's sake, TMZ is reporting on this? The same gossip column who's owner and CEO constantly tries to out men in the industry he thinks are gay just because he is?
      Dom
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is already another "darker" black man and a darker black woman in the commercial. Watch and pause at 0:40. So quit it.
      Uebermensch
      • 2 Years Ago
      Remember that Fiat 500 Abarth commercial with the gorgeous brunette that drips foam on the geek... Does anyone here really think that those two were not cast because of their physical appearance? Remember the beer company that ran ads featuring the fictitious "Swedish bikini team"? Was it a random selection of actors and actresses that resulted in 8 blonde women? If a light-skinnned black sells more cars than a dark-skinned black, he gets the job. Deal with it.
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